Release Date: January 13, 2023
Genre: Alternative Rock, Indie Rock, Psych Rock
Label: I Surrender Records
Hailing out of Cincinnati, Ohio, Lincoln is a solo band that is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Lincoln Lutz. Lincoln's music is both pretentious and angsty, and it's a darkly insightful look at the inner workings of the complexity of Lutz's brain. Musically, once best described as a strict amalgamation of elements of alternative rock, pop punk, and emo. However, Lincoln is back with his full-length debut album, Everything Is Wrong, and its twelve tracks encapsulate an unexpected turn of songwriting maturity within them. Everything Is Wrong is once again produced by Brett Romnes, best known for his work with bands such as Mom Jeans., Hot Mulligan, and The Front Bottoms, to name a few. Lincoln got his big break when one day, Sam Means -previously of the indie rock band The Format- tweeted out a link to one of Lincoln's many astonishing YouTube covers that caught the attention of I Surrender Records. Skip forward a short while, Lincoln went on to sign to the label and release his debut EP, A Constant State of Ohio, in early 2017. He followed it up with another EP, Saint Bernard, in the fall of 2020. The EP's title track, "Saint Bernard," took the TikTok and Spotify viral charts by storm; the song has been used in nearly one-hundred thousand videos on the social platform and streamed over three hundred million times to date.
Everything Is Wrong swings right open with its title track. An almost poppy, emo-y track that comments on the negatives of what the world has become today and describes how much it can take such a toll on the human mind. "Oh Lord Two" follows, and it features members of Pollyanna -an I Surrender Records labelmate. "Oh Lord Two" is the first glance listeners get at the new genre elements incorporated into Lincoln's already outstanding musical repertoire. Dawning a haunting, duet ballad-like piano intro, the track evolves into a jazzy, atmospheric, and dazey psych-rock number. Track three on Everything Is Wrong -titled "Baby Take My Acid"- features glitch-pop artist Penelope Scott and the two perform an entire back-and-forth indie rock jaunt. Lincoln's Everything Is Wrong is a breath of fresh air into the genre he prided his initial success on, and these twelve tracks exhibit a change in his writing and sound that will draw attention to him in no time at all. These dozen new tracks from Lincoln emit a certain type of sadness and disdain for a world and society that are heading downwards. These songs -as mentioned in my opening paragraph- are also a dark and angsty look at the inner workings of the complexity of Lutz's thoughts through a pandemic and other things that have put many divides in society throughout the last couple of years.
Musically, Everything Is Wrong goes to places Lincoln has never gone before while maintaining his core genres in the mix. His debut EP, A Constant State of Ohio, was a very alternative rock/emo mix with these subtle hints of pop-punk influence sprinkled in. Whereas, Everything Is Wrong takes those genres and elements of genres and works on top of them. With Lincoln's debut record, you get full-blown emo tracks like "Everything Is Fine" and "Manager's Special" to massive, psych-rock numbers like "Oh Lord Two," "From God," and "Life, The Universe, and Everything." There's straightforward indie rock in tracks like "Baby Take My Acid" and "Handsy." Lastly, you get these very jazz-riddled pieces of the back half of the record in songs like "From God" -featuring a mesmerizing saxophone solo- "Everything," -that's got a soulful guitar solo- and the album-closing "Oh Lord" -that doubles as a bit of an indie rock number as well.
Without a doubt, Everything Is Wrong will put Lincoln on the music map, and with a songwriting manner that has no bounds tying him down, a lot can push Lincoln's music in the future. Songwriters like Lutz interest me for the sole purpose that you just can never expect what they will brainstorm for their next release. That uncertainty adds a whole new layer to the artist's mystique. Everything Is Wrong is already going to be a surefire album that I will be listening to year-round, and we're only two weeks into the new year. I'm confident 2023 will be a fantastic year for new releases. Be sure you pre-save and/or preorder a physical copy of Lincoln's debut record here.
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