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Quinn XCII’s new album, “From Michigan with Love” was released at the end of Feb­ruary. | Flikr

Quinn XCII’s sophomore album built on his pre­vious work to perfect what he does best. “From Michigan With Love” flaunts Quinn’s most essential ele­ments: cre­ative electro-pop beats and smooth, light­hearted vocals.

Quinn writes his beats with obsessive cre­ativity — these are not songs you skip halfway through. Each phrase taunts the lis­tener to guess where he’ll go next. And you’ll never get it right because Quinn is sur­prising and elusive.

Beyond the impressive synth instru­mentals, which shouldn’t be over­looked, Quinn’s lyrics show rare depth for an artist so early in his career. “From Michigan With Love,” is much more than a love album. Quinn reveals mental health issues and feelings of inad­e­quacy as the album pro­gresses, tying them into an over­ar­ching theme of a chal­lenging but ulti­mately rewarding rela­tionship.

The second song on the album, “Autopilot,” intro­duces mental obstacles that lend to Quinn’s dif­ficult love life. He feels subject to the whims of his aggres­sively dynamic lifestyle and racing thoughts. “So baby, just hold me/‘til I turn back to the old me/there’s some demons I need to cleanse,” he sings.

This song’s title comes from his per­ceived mental state — unable to think about his emo­tions in a mean­ingful way, Quinn feels like he can’t control his thoughts. Quinn may be speaking to an increas­ingly common con­dition in young adults whose brains were trained on fast-paced, dis­traction-laden social media: ADHD.

One person affected by ADHD described it like this: “My mind is in a fog that I can’t clear. A thousand thoughts race through my head all at once.”

Despite set­backs like this, Quinn is deter­mined that “Life Must Go On,” which is the title of the next song. Even though his “world’s burning down,” Quinn rec­og­nizes the impor­tance of per­se­verance in the follow-up track.

Fun fact about Quinn: his real name is Mike. In college, one of his pro­fessors used the motto, “Quit unless your instincts are never neglected,” which Quinn described as “pur­suing any­thing you love when you have nothing inside telling you to stop it.” He shaped the motto into an acronym for a stage name, adding the Roman numerals XCII to rep­resent his birth year, 1992.

With the eighth song on the album, “When I Die,” Quinn counters the mental fuzziness of “Autopilot” by describing how he feels when he’s next to his fiancee. “’Cause we’re both here, keeping our breath under control…When I die, it’s this I’ll remember.” In con­trast to “Autopilot,” Quinn now is anchored to the moment; his mind is no longer racing, reaching for some sort of meaning. He has all the meaning he could ever ask for.

In “Sad Still,” Quinn is the only person in the room. He’s not alone though: he has his “cabinet full of orange vials.” He chal­lenges the via­bility of treating anxiety and depression with med­ication: “We take this red pill, green pill, black pill/ I know deep down, we’re sad still,” he sings. The beat accel­erates and inten­sifies. He’s back on autopilot.

Throughout the album, Quinn feels inad­e­quate com­pared with his fiancee. This, along with racing thoughts, anxiety, and sub­stance use, seem to vir­tually ruin him. Only her gentle reas­surance can bring him back.

Often, Quinn’s lyricism feels too hasty for the subject matter. Some of these songs would sound won­derful in a blues­ballad style. With Quinn’s expert instru­mental skills, this shouldn’t be dif­ficult.

Quinn also seems to try his hand at rapping — or some­thing close to it. Par­tic­u­larly in a portion of “When I Die,” Quinn develops a cre­ative rhyme scheme and a quick lyrical tempo. Devel­oping this exper­iment into a full song rather than an interlude would broaden his ver­sa­tility as an artist.

Quinn spent a year and a half on “From Michigan With Love” and called it his “most chal­lenging body of work.” His ded­i­cation shows — for the sake of his music, let’s hope he lives up to his name.