In June 2019, I introduced you to EJ Carey with her lead single “Rising Tides, Crashing Skies.” It was an explosive yet stunning insight into her songwriting style and personality. It allowed EJ to share a bit of herself, a past relationship, how she was better off without it and left listeners eager to hear more. Now, two years later, she’s dropped her brand new EP, “Outlier.” The five track EP explores the dynamics of relationships, friendships, and the ups and downs of life as a 20 something. “Outlier” offers a little something for everyone: the pop-rock sound, the personal songwriting style, and the “do what I want how I want” confidence that we all wish we could embody in our own lives.
For Carey, “Outlier” was born during a transitional period of her life. As it happens, while we go through the different phases of our early to mid-20s, people come, and people go. One can begin to feel like a yo-yo, but Carey chose to use it as fuel to guide her down the path she had always laid out for herself. Being an “outlier” is about removing yourself from the conventional ways of the world and daring to follow the often unknown, less traveled road. Thanks to those who donated to her crowdfunding campaign, her dream of making this EP became a reality. For Carey, “Outlier” turned out to be the symbol of triumph that I had written it to be: against all odds, we made something amazing despite the world being in a massive state of uncertainty.”
“Outlier” debuted on Friday, September 24th, and accumulated 17,000 streams on its first day! Let’s dive in and explore the EP track by track!
Rising Tides, Crashing Skies the debut single off the EP, this track is an excellent introduction to the overall theme of the project, “which is about doing what’s best for me and letting go of things that aren’t helpful to me anymore,” she explained to me upon its release in 2019. Carey is here to tell her side of the story, and the emotional honesty is captivating. The use of imagery helps paint a picture to listeners of what exactly turned this relationship sour. It is pop perfection, and the musical buildup to the chorus takes the cake.
I.G.B.Y.H. (I’m Gonna Break Your Heart) Whereas “Rising Tides, Crashing Skies” describes the end of a relationship, “I.G.B.Y.H.” confronts the butterflies and the anxious thoughts that come with getting to know someone new after heartbreak. The consistent upbeat sound is reminiscent of the unadulterated zeal of a new relationship. The relatability of the track speaks volumes too. Throughout the song, Carey describes the things that have her smitten but then reverts to her fear of how it will end. The juxtaposition of the two is the epitome of what dating feels like in 2021.
Old Friends This one is for the country fans! “Old Friends” encapsulates the universal experience of making friends, losing them, realizing they weren’t who you thought, and being okay that the relationship didn’t last. It’s a different sound from the rest of the EP, with the country influence and mellow vibe, but it still embodies the “I’m doing what’s best for me” attitude.
I Smile Have you ever had good news or an idea to share with someone you were excited about, but rather than support you, they provide unsolicited advice? Then, “I Smile” is the track for you! “As you go and make your own path in life, the people close to you don’t always see the vision the way that you do,” Carey said of the meaning behind the song in a radio interview with Long Island’s 94.3 The Shark. It’s easier to smile and nod your head than waste your energy trying to convince this person otherwise. This song leans towards the familiar pop-rock sound of EJ Carey.
The Porchfest Song The signature sad bop of the EP. EJ explains, “The Porchfest Song” was written “when [she] was at her lowest,” while simultaneously, “really amazing things were happening all around [her].” This song results from her choosing to “do everything that [she] had been holding back from.” The song is an incredible reflection of that, with lyrics that hurt your heart to listen to, embodied by an upbeat track. Her heartbreak, essentially, motivated her to continue to fight for what she had been working for from the start.
"Outlier" is streaming on all platforms now!
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