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You’re sitting on your bed, looking out the window, rem­i­niscing about the good times you had with your high school heart­breaker. And you’re probably lis­tening to gnash’s debut album, “we.”

Coming out from the heart of Los Angeles, gnash, oth­erwise known as Garrett Nash, not only flexes his rapper-singer-song­writer identity in his first full album, which released Jan. 11, 2019, but also develops an acoustic tone and a rock‘n’roll capa­bility that may sur­prise his fans.

Filled with a touch of teenage angst and an overload of mil­len­ni­alism, gnash rep­re­sents both the relaxed and nearly com­placent nature of our emotion-driven gen­er­ation. The lyrics, “Don’t get stressed, don’t get dressed” has a par­ticular res­o­nance with our gen­er­ation, who gnash encourages to stay in their pajamas and not leave the house.

Resem­bling artists like Twenty One Pilots with his bor­derline painfully real lyrics, yet not over­whelming his audience with rap music throughout the entire album, gnash show­cases his word-spitting abil­ities in “nobody’s home,” as he says “You and I were king and queen of quiet nights in,/We’d order food and watch a movie” and talks about the gen­er­a­tional issue of spending a night, not only at home, but all alone with himself and his phone.  

DJ-ing since the age of 13 and devel­oping music in his garage, gnash has released three EPs and a number of singles prior to this album, including his most popular song “i hate u, i love u,” fea­tured on “we,” though it was orig­i­nally released in 2016.

In the song “be,” he echoes the style of Plain White T’s “Hey There, Delilah” with an intro­duction of soft strums of the guitar and his sen­ti­mental tone of voice. But gnash has the unique artistic ability to take his audience from a mood equiv­alent to that of resting on the shores of a beach, to a high-energy and teenage garage-rock-band-esque vibe, as expe­ri­enced in “t-shirt.”

Gnash doesn’t allow his audience to expe­rience such angst imme­di­ately: First, he intro­duces the song with a cli­mactic building of acoustics that quickly shift to the sound of an electric guitar, and soft head-banging shouts.

Gnash creates a bouncing melody perfect for drives by the coast, native to gnash’s Southern Cal­i­fornia origins, in his “imagine if,” reflecting on future plans and past loves as he echoes “Aye-oh, aye-oh!”

Addressing another longing of the mil­lennial gen­er­ation, gnash con­tem­plates “Imagine what the world be like/If everybody stayed in love/If everybody stayed offline,” not only addressing the overuse of social media in romantic rela­tion­ships and staying con­nected online, but also ref­er­encing the regret of human inability to rewind time like that of a movie.

After a series of alter­native mix­tures of rock band instru­ments and acoustics, gnash sur­prises his lis­teners with his most popular song of the album “i hate u, i love u,” fea­turing artist Olivia Brien, released in 2016. A tug-of-war of emo­tions, the song explores whether gnash and Brien’s char­acters actually love or hate each other as it builds to an emo­tional climax in the infamous love-hate rela­tionship. Brien’s voice and the piano chords strike the heart of the lis­tener, as building claps and tension char­ac­terize gnash’s intro­duction into the song.

Stripped down and pre­senting the trans­parency of the internal battle that is love, gnash and Brien com­plement each other’s voices while building a nar­rative for the seem­ingly super­ficial gen­er­ation that the album is meant for, but it rec­og­nizes the deeper emo­tional issues that also char­ac­terize our gen­er­ation.  

A roller­coaster of emo­tions, gnash builds an album with “we” that not only show­cases his rapping abil­ities and nature, but that shifts from soft, sen­ti­mental acoustic melodies to that of aggressive, nearly rebel­lious, garage punk. He sprinkles his album with rhythms that sound upbeat, while also pro­viding raw lyrics and addresses authentic struggles expe­ri­enced by our current gen­er­ation.

Speaking the lan­guage of mil­len­nials and pro­viding a variety of moods with which to res­onate, gnash’s “we” serves as a uni­ver­sally acces­sible album to all mil­lenials who choose to listen.