By Sean McCall | Posted Friday, August 10, 2018
Kay Roman is a singer/songwriter based out of Oakland, New Jersey. Her most recent EP is titled Teen Angst which was released in September of 2017. Kay wrote the whole EP herself, and it was mixed and mastered by Joey Papa. The record opens with a short, but catchy song titled “Mordecai” which introduces a minor-mood for the record. The song gradually layers more vocals and synth instrumentation as the “Mordecai, Mordecai” hook loops around. I love the way this song closes with an almost eerie noise after saying “I’m so insane, it’s not enough.”
The second song on the record, “Go Away," immediately switches the mood up with a happy-sounding progression and horns opening up the song. The chorus of this song is genuinely awesome. It’s simple and catchy and states “Go away, go away, I don’t need you here to mess with my heart today” with a beautiful melody. This one put me in my feels in the most uplifting way if that makes sense.
The third track on the record is called “See You in the Halls” and opens up with a line that says “went to the store and bought a GameCube controller” which immediately intrigued me! Turns out this song is another one that pulls at the heartstrings. The intro gives me a Julien Baker-vibe, and when it picks up the music reminds me of Tigers Jaw and The Hotelier, for a few comparisons. I really love the structure and dynamics of this song specifically. It’s one of the longer tracks but you don’t notice because there’s constant change in a seamless way.
The fourth song on the record is called “201” which brings back the singular acoustic guitar and vocals while sneaking in some melodramatic cello. I really like that the vocals follow the guitar melody in this song. There are also some very interesting chord choices in the transitions of this song that are super tasteful. This track seems to be talking about an old place that she used to call home but can no longer bring herself to do so. This is definitely another feeler.
“Give Me Attention” is the 5th track on this EP. The instrumental in the chorus of this song immediately reminded me of Tigers Jaw's self-titled EP. This is another track of dealing with the idea of “insanity” which is something that’s a common theme in a lot of people’s lives that is tough to speak up about. So far, Teen Angst is a record that talks about a lot of hardships that are difficult to talk about through simply speaking, but this EP takes those situations and turns them into something moving and relatable that you can always move your head to.
The record closes with a track titled “Blue Jay.” This is another emotional journey that’s done beautifully. It’s super soft for the majority of the song, but when the full band comes in around 3 quarters into the song, you just feel. There aren’t any more lyrics after that point in the song, and there doesn’t have to be. I think this song ended the record perfectly.
Overall, I was thoroughly moved by this record. I believe it talks about a lot of issues we can relate to. Even if it’s on a broad spectrum, and we of course don’t know the stories behind these songs, there’s something there that I can grasp onto personally. A lot of people say you should listen to happy music when you’re sad, but I lean more towards records like this one. It has a perfect combination of music that’s uplifting and almost joyful, and lyrics that may break your heart and hit home.
My personal favorite song was “Go Away” from Kay Roman's Teen Angst if you’re looking for somewhere to start.