Your twenties, a profound yet confusing “in-between” time of letting go of childhood and coming into one’s adult self. Considering the accelerated growth and drastic change that is often associated with this decade, this time is often filled with a whirlwind of emotions. Anxiety over the future, the astounding gratification that comes with really falling in love, and a frightening free fall into the world around you – navigating through the twenty-somethings is lovely, twisted, and extremely personal.
Up and coming melancholic pop princess Sasha Sloan is also grappling with her early twenties. Soon approaching her 24th year of existence, she told Billboard, “Somehow, when I was 16, looking at a 24-year-old was like, ‘Oh my god, they are so old’ … now I’m going to be 24. You can’t fuck up that hard [anymore]!” Loser, Sloan’s sophomore EP released Nov. 29, is an ode to this time of growth and the myriad of feelings and realizations that come along with going through your twenties.
So, without further ado, we present to you a complete deconstruction of Loser with six “twenty-something realizations” that accompany each beautifully executed track.
“The Only” – The paradoxical comradery of loneliness.
Growing up with nearly limitless access to communication comes with a collection of paradoxical experiences. As we enter our early twenties, it’s often difficult to rationalize our loneliness. With the abounding ability to connect with another being instantly, we know that we should not feel lonely, yet we do. Sloan knows the sentiment well, especially after her initial move to Los Angeles, which the song is inspired by. She reminisced on this with Billboard stating, “I wrote that (“The Only”) when I first moved to L.A. I was 19 and didn’t know anyone … I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. And I was so lonely.” With a glimmer of ironic hope, Sloan finds a tinge of comfort in knowing of the shared experience of loneliness. This emotive beginning to the EP sets a general feeling of honesty in the uncomfortable.
“Faking It” – An affinity for the artificial.
Coming into maturity can often be synonymous with falling in and out of love. With each experience, we take away a lesson and some are easier to swallow than others. The reality of love is that most instances are temporary. A harder feeling to face, Sloan pairs her brutally honest story of staying in a dwindling relationship by faking it, with the inner workings of an electro-pop banger. An interesting yet fitting pairing, we are confronted with the discomfort of having an affinity for the artificial, accompanied by the relief of a familiar pop sound.
“Older” – Our parents aren’t superheroes and that’s okay.
There was a time, and not so long ago, when our parents were the center of our world. They are our randomly assigned protectors and life guides, so all we knew up to certain point was filtered through their perspective and for all we knew they knew it all. As one progresses, this fantasy is quickly obliterated and the reality that our parents are just like us can be both comforting and earth shattering. In “Older,” Sloan revels in vulnerability by sharing some of her childhood pain and the new understanding that comes with growing up.
“Version of Me” – When the filters are off, will you still love me?
In creating relationships, we often do our best to put our most attractive self forward, all with the gnawing apprehension that this isn’t necessarily who we are all the time. In “Version of Me,” Sloan explores the universal anxiety of not knowing whether someone will be willing to accept all of you. The smooth, left a center tune introduces a driving, dance-inducing beat paired with ethereal electronic noises as Sloan relays a list of worries and the ultimate wish that her love will stay for every version of her.
“Chasing Parties” – Growing up and falling in love is often synonymous.
Through the throes of adolescence and all the emotional strife that comes along with it, finding a moment of clarity in love can come as a surprising breath of fresh air, one that breeds change and maturity. “Chasing Parties” is a change of pace for Sloan, as most of her songs centered around love come with an air of sadness or dissatisfaction. We see tangible evidence of Sloan moving forward in her life and some of the happiness that can be associated with growing older.
“Again” – Most things end but it was worth every moment.
The final track on the EP completes the overarching theme of departing from childhood and coming into young adulthood, as Sloan paints the perfect picture of moving on while appreciating the past. Her keen attention to lyricism is exemplified in “Again,” with poetic lines such as “Salt in your kiss from that 2 AM swim/I wish I could put my arm around a memory” and “All of those nights, still tattooed on my mind/No matter where I go you’ll be a part of me forever,” Sloan evokes feelings of longing nostalgia and the maturity that lives within acceptance.
Hungry for more Sasha Sloan? Check out our Q&A with our favorite sad girl songwriter.