Check out the much-awaited release of TWENTY SOMETHING: Figuring It Out – the daringly honest second installment of Alana Springsteen’s forthcoming three-part debut album, TWENTY SOMETHING. To celebrate the arrival of Figuring It Out, the Columbia Records NY/Sony Music Nashville artist-songwriter is delivering the project’s most left-of-center and darkly hypnotic track: her brand-new collaboration “ghost in my guitar,” featuring Country superstar Chris Stapleton. Available across all streaming platforms and digital retailers, listen to TWENTY SOMETHING: Figuring It Out here.
“One of the highlights of Figuring It Out is my collaboration with Chris Stapleton. This song is intentionally not a traditional vocal duet. I wanted it to be a duet between me and a lead guitar, so the guitar feature was crucial to this song. It represents the lingering presence of something (in my case, someone) who’s gone but also very much not. Every time I think I’ve written my way past the hurt, I’m reminded that I have a long way to go,” shares Springsteen. “The guitar had to be just as emotionally charged as a vocal would have been to hint at those lingering feelings and memories that just won’t let me be, and Chris’ signature guitar tone was the only one I ever heard on it in my head. I’m so grateful to him for liking this song enough to lend his insane talent to it. I’m honored to have him on this project.”
“The best of her material moving past an era defined by a breakup converging with her growth in self-awareness is the Stapleton duet ‘ghost in my guitar,’” praises The Tennessean [read the feature]. Co-written by Springsteen, Ido Zmishlany (Shawn Mendes, Jonas Brothers), Delacey (Halsey, Dove Cameron), and Sarah Solovay (Bebe Rexha, Nessa Barrett), the release offers up a haunting portrait of the way repressed emotions can mess with our minds and even interfere with the pure catharsis of creativity. In a shining example of her strength as a vocalist, Springsteen channels pain, heartache, and raw frustration, as she speaks to her inability to stop writing songs on her guitar about a particularly devastating breakup: “Yeah I wanna smash it like a rockstar in a hotel room / Before I tell it all the things that I can’t tell you.” After opening on a stark arrangement of gritty guitar tones, the slow-burning track co-produced by Zmishlany and Springsteen builds a powerful momentum with its propulsive hand percussion and potent 808s, then reaches its peak with a sparse but smoldering guitar solo from Stapleton. Directed by David Bradley and Springsteen, the adjoining music video perfectly echoes the tone of moody isolation, focusing in on Springsteen as she delivers an aching performance in an empty house awash in ethereal light.
“Few artists dissect and make sense of life in your 20s quite like Alana Springsteen,” applauds NPR[listen to NPR’s All Songs Considered]. Figuring It Out follows the release of Messing It Up – the widely acclaimed first installment to TWENTY SOMETHING, on which the 22-year-old Virginia Beach, VA, native opened up about all the mistakes and misadventures of early adulthood (listen to TWENTY SOMETHING: Messing It Uphere). Co-produced by Springsteen, Figuring It Out consists of six songs all co-penned by her that detail the journey toward the life-changing empowerment of true self-discovery beginning with her tell-all title track (“twenty something”). With equal parts unflinching honesty and soulful sensitivity, she confronts her biggest obstacles to self-realization, bravely exploring her greatest insecurities and most deeply ingrained defense mechanisms (“chameleon”). As she opens up about everything from fractured friendships (“when we were friends”) to her self-sabotaging tendencies, Springsteen ultimately reveals the undeniable power of learning to embrace your imperfections on the way to becoming your best self.
“The songs on Figuring It Out are where some of the hardest work happened as this album came together. The late nights, ugly crying, therapy sessions in the form of writes, and epiphanies. They represent some of the hardest lessons I’ve learned over the past few years. In listening to these stories, you’re experiencing real-time moments of realization and growth. Years down the line, I’ll look back at these songs as a reminder of how far I’ve come,” adds Springsteen. “From calling myself out on my tendency to shape-shift in search of external validation, to admitting the ways that I contradict myself in how I live my life, to grieving the slow fade of friendship, and my inability to let go of things that are bad for me, Figuring It Out covers a lot of ground. It’s heavy, but also includes a song called ‘here’s to all my exes’ that’s become a love letter to my fans. If it wasn’t for the heartbreak that led to these songs, I never would’ve found them. And the relationships I’ve built with them are worth every bit of the pain it took to get here. Here’s to figuring it out, fam.”