Christian Leave is an artist that knows how to perfectly encapsulate the thoughts and feelings of modern-day youth. In fact, it sounds like he recorded every song off his EP “Heavy Hitting Hurts My Head” from his garage with a group of friends.
Born in Texas, Christian Akridge, or known as Christian Leave by his fans, first made his internet debut on Vine, making comedic videos. He took part in the “Press Play” tours, which were concerts that featured upcoming artists, increasing his popularity, and shortly after he released his first album “Hope,” which received positive feedback from fans and critics alike.
Starting off with the song “Bedache,” the lively vocals and authentic garage band sound makes me feel as though I am starring in a coming-of-age film, about teenagers wanting to avoid the dread of growing up. “I am so afraid of getting older, the past is in the past but I can’t seem to move on.” The lyrics say exactly what every teenager is thinking, but in a way that’s relatable and makes people listening just go “same” while bobbing their head to the guitar riffs and soft, but noticeable tambourine.
The tone instantly shifts from an upbeat, dancing around your room type of vibe, to a slow, emotional one with “Hard Wad Body.” The pressures put on today’s youth are told with the repeated clanging of the cymbals followed by him subtly screaming, “Oh,” getting louder and louder after each pre-chorus, representing the frustration teenagers go through, feeling as though they’ll never be good enough. The tone goes back to somber, with only his guitar playing behind his voice as he sings, “Too much pressure killed the kid and now I’m forced to walk around in his body,” perfectly depicting how the standards and stress put upon teens by society, destroys them mentally and physically. He lets his frustrations out onto his instruments, until it almost sounds like he is screaming/crying the lyrics.
Combining the calmness of “Hard Wad Body” with the upbeat tone of “Bedache,” “Filth” shows the inner thoughts and battles that people with mental health issues go through on a daily basis. He describes how the seasons change, showing how the world is moving on as he feels stuck in the never-ending cycle of hating the situation he is in; however, at the same time, he feels as though he cannot fix it. The melody also seems to be stuck in a loop, unlike his other songs where the melody for the pre-chorus is different from the melody for the chorus. “I’m stuck again, but blameless for all of my problems, and nothing can fix me,” is how Leave feels; everything is hopeless, and while he does want to fix the things that bother him, he does not have the motivation to do so and continues to let the moments of his youth pass.
Wrapping up the EP, “Your Life Your Time,” Leave sings about moving on before breaking off a one-sided, selfish relationship, as the drums and guitar and going at a faster pace than his other songs; representing him moving on without the person he thought he loved. This song relates to “Hearts Melt” in the sense that teenagers can fall in love with the idea of someone that they made up, but soon realize that the version of that person they came up with is not who they really are. It’s a bitter realization that Leaves explains with the lyrics, “You said I was lazy, and that might be true but that doesn’t mean that I should drive three hours to you.” The chorus backed with the fast instrumentals sounds as if he is finally breaking free from a relationship he was no longer invested in.
The cheerfulness of this EP is a complete contrast to the topics Leave discusses and especially his lyrics, which are deep and serious. But at the same time, it makes his words easier to understand as the tone of it isn’t as somber and depressing like other songs that talk about the same issues and experiences that he is discussing as well. “Heavy Hitting Hurts My Head” tells teenagers that these thoughts and feelings they have are common, universally shared, and that no one should be ashamed, but instead talk with others about it so they have more people to relate to and not feel so alone.