Cooper Turnbull’s debut single “AWAY” is a heart-wrenching, beautiful ballad. Turnbull sings about an ending relationship where Turnbull wants his ex to stay, though he knows it’s time and part of life to break up. He wants to emphasize that it’s okay to break up and for it to hurt, especially with the global pandemic ravaging.
“I knew that we wouldn’t last forever. But I was hoping that we could,” Cooper Turnbull says. “Breaking up for the first time is tough. Breaking up for the first time at the start of five months of lockdown in Sydney hit me with a pain and emptiness like nothing else I have ever felt before. With those inner conversations that you can’t turn off. I felt bad for feeling the way I felt when the whole world was suffering so much and losing so much. But I couldn’t breathe. And there were no distractions - no friends to hang out with; to laugh with. I was alone inside this space when I wrote AWAY.”
Throughout “AWAY,” Turnbull’s vocals perfectly encapsulate the sadness and pain he feels from the breakup. He wonderfully conveys the anguish he feels from breaking up and the desire for his ex to stay with him. His vocals were my favorite part of the song. They drew me in due to Turnbull's ability to communicate his feelings and make me feel his emotions as well.
I also loved the quiet anguish of “AWAY.” The acoustic guitar played by Nick Meredith added to the melancholy aesthetic of the song. It perfectly balanced Turnbull’s vocals. Echoes also backed Turnbull's vocals, adding to the despair; they were another punch to the gut. They were another voice, another person feeling and conveying the pain and sadness.
The calm, sadness stayed with me long after listening, and Turnbull's lyrics “Please don’t go away” played over and over in my head, almost hauntingly. However, at the end of the song, the chorus lyric “Please don’t go away” changes to “Please just go away.” The change is somewhat jarring yet makes sense for the breakup roller coaster of feelings Turnbull went through. It’s shocking and unexpected because most song choruses stay the same throughout. I got used to his chorus; it was what I was expecting (though through the verses, Turnbull begins to convey he’s ready to move on and for the relationship to end). The change could also be symbolic of his relationship or others: a potential unexpected breakup and/or the big change a breakup brings. Being with someone is a big part of one’s life, and for it to end can drastically change the way you live your life and interact.
Turnbull's debut single is more than worth a listen, especially as he’s working towards an EP to be released later this year that everyone should be on the lookout for.
Cooper Turnbull was born in Australia and grew up in Los Angeles, California. Currently residing in Sydney, Turnbull attends JMC Academy in Ultimo and is working on his Bachelor of Music in Contemporary Songwriting. He’s inspired by Conan Gray, Harry Styles, Olivia Rodrigo, and FINNEAS. Turnbull wants to get on the road with his music, sharing it with the world. He hopes to tour Australia, the US, and around the world, in addition to collaborating with his musical influence, FINNEAS. In regard to his music, Turnbull aims to make people feel less alone in the world. He hopes his songs connect with listeners, especially in unexpected ways. He’s currently working on an EP to be released later in 2022.
Written by Anne Friedman