Vocalist Kellin Quinn (from Sleeping with Sirens) has finally released his long-awaited six-song EP, Whatever This Is, under the solo-project moniker of Downer Inc. Listeners will be drawn into Quinn’s psyche as he combines his familiar vocal projections with emotions about current events and the future.
“Ground Zero” could easily be considered a rock anthem of the year. A legendary introduction that starts off the EP with what could be some of Quinn’s best work yet, simultaneously calling out the corruption seen in today’s society while offering a wake up call to the future generation.
“Generation Z” follows and was the first song released in anticipation of the EP on September 9th. The song conveys feelings of loneliness and the search for connection throughout the pandemic with the lyrics:
“I’m sure they’ll say that we ain’t got no heart
But what is love if we’re six feet apart“
Marking the halfway point, “Work of Art” transports listeners into a dream-world from the electro-pop instrumentals to featuring vocalist Eliza Grace who complements the song, beautifully harmonizing some powerful melodies.
“Letdown” is a standout of the whole EP. This song is a scream into oblivion, a cry into the void about the power of anxiety and how it controls our minds and our lives. This is some next level raw emotion from Kellin Quinn, consistently exceeding expectations with his signature vocals. The production from Cameron Mizell (who previously worked with Sleeping with Sirens on their albums Feel and With Ears To See Eyes to Hear) really shines through within the buildups and breakdowns.
The second to last song, “Truth or Dare,” takes me back to the chill vibes of the SWS We Like It Quiet Tour from 2015, also somewhat reminiscent of the song “Gossip” from 2017, with the addition of an orchestra to complement the lyrical theme of finding yourself amongst the chaos.
Title track “Whatever This Is” concludes the EP with a pop-rock finish that will leave you hungry for more. The project as a whole is a masterpiece from start to finish, combining compelling instrumentals with passion and expression. It’s certainly become one of my favorites of the year after only a few listens, and I can’t wait to hear more music in this direction. You can pre-order merchandise and listen to Whatever This Is here.