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Track By Track: Roy Irwin's 'Self Titled' Album

Track By Track: Roy Irwin's 'Self Titled' Album

C.C. / Roy Irwin / Monday 2nd March, 2020 2:01PM

Roy Irwin's new album 'Self Titled' dropped in February, gifting listeners ten dreamy and intimate home-crafted songs "about death and disdain." We asked the Tāmaki Makaurau songwriter and visual artist to share their personal insights into each tune on the record...

1. 'Awful'

Awful was one of the first songs I recorded for the album. I was trying to navigate my way through a situation with a person I know and this song was the result. It came together really quickly. It’s about not feeling heard, a friendship deteriorating and learning how to distance myself from the toxicity that comes with those kinds of events.

2. 'Shine'

A lot of my music stems from anxious and depressive feelings. The lyrical content is about those things but for this song it was really more about the production and having a sparse environment for the listener so that they can make it their own. It was inspired by early Prince records. 

3. 'Warm'

Warm is about ignoring problems. The chorus is tongue and cheek, like, “this shit sucks, I’d rather die right now than have to think about what’s happening”.
Joe Locke helped with some of the production on this one and it wouldn’t have been quite the same without the ideas he had. I really like how this song turned out.

4. 'Carnation'

This song is about being depressed, getting stuck in that cycle and not being able to pull myself out of it. I had so many creative blanks throughout recording this album and I was constantly questioning myself and my abilities.
I like how this song is kinda drunk and woozy sounding.

5. 'Spit'

This song happened by accident. I wanted to make a cute pop song for fun.
Then I wrote some lyrics and they were super dark. I like how that content fits around the playful sound of the song.
“I wake up screaming when I’m alone and I’m by myself all the time, I bite my tongue until it bleeds and spit in the mirror”.
This is the kind of song I’d like to write for somebody else to record.
I also made an Instagram filter for it [available here] where the users face gets splattered with blood while the song plays quietly in the background.

6. 'Some Kind Of Man'

On the same subject roughly as the song ‘Awful’.
My favourite line of probably the whole album is on this song.
“You’re as warm as a dead cop”.
It touches on other things like toxic masculinity as well.
Another song which is quite sparse.
I want to create environments just as much, if not more than tell a story sometimes.

7. 'Come'

This song is about getting fucked over.
Please don’t fuck people over, it’s a waste of your own energy and a bigger waste of energy for the person you fuck over.
Plus when you fuck people over, other people find out and soon enough nobody will want to fuck with you.

8. 'No Question'

This song is about the horrible feeling you get when you have an immense disappointment for the way something turned out. That can really lend itself to whatever you want it to.
Like, there is no question about how much I hate this / them / that, right now.

9. 'Goodbye Youth'

This is about somebody I went to school with who met a really shitty death after a police chase.
It was a person my friends and I would kinda hangout with, wag school, smoke cigs, skateboard and get stoned with.
They were actually with me the first time I got caught wagging school by the local cop at a skatepark. It’s a goodbye to someone I once knew and a bittersweet ending to the general mischief of what it is to be a teenager.

10. 'Bully'

One of my bullies throughout school was someone I ended up bonding with for whatever reason and we became friends.

He would try push me down stairs or him and other kids would grab my wrists and ankles and swing me onto the concrete and laugh.

When we were 13 their parents would let us smoke weed in their house, watch movies and listen to nu-metal.
It was a dysfunctional friendship between two kids who came from very different backgrounds but shared similar traumatic events throughout life.
Anyway, they ended up killing some poor child a few years ago, I saw their face in the paper and felt really cold and sad.

'Self Titled' is out now via Spotify.


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