“Santa Fe” is album to put in your playlists now. While you can listen in any order you please, there is always a certain magic to the way an artist constructs an album, particularly Lostboycrow in his distinct way of releasing EPs and now this album. “Santa Fe” is Lostboycrow’s debut album and it really gets back to his roots in songwriting. Written or at started mostly on a trip with friends to Sante Fe to collaborate on writing this album, these songs are beautifully made to tell a story together. Rooted in acoustic guitar and stunning vocals, this is an album that transcends genre boundaries and will leave you speechless. Pay attention because you can get to know LBC a lot better, in his words the album “goes a lot deeper and takes a more existential look at [who he] is now, and [he hopes] the people enjoy a deeper look into who I am.”
Here’s a look at the album; one song at a time:
MAP ft. Taran Kootenhayoo
Lostboycrow kicks off “Santa Fe” with a slower more R&B style pop ballad. In collaboration with actor Taran Kootenhayoo, LBC’s characteristic dreamy pop shines in “MAP”. With a spoken word piece beginning around 3:30, the song takes a...steamier...turn until its conclusion. (Carpool drivers, like myself, beware).
In quite a turn of events, “Orange Juice” picks up the pace for a cutesier song with a catchy drum beat and twangy guitar. One of the first releases on the EPs preceding the album, Lostboycrow continues a transition into cool smooth synths that set the tone for more to come in the later releases.
Stargazing with Patrick Bateman
Beautiful with a lullaby type quality. “Stargazing” is a breath of air in this album that is raw and relatively stripped back, very vocal heavy. Lostboycrow’s voice is stellar and the forlorn quality of the notes in the last minute of the song are breathtaking.
This is the title track of the album. The steady drum beat, the story-telling quality of the lyrics, and the smooth incorporation of synths in the chorus make for a chill, vibey track. I especially love the reflectiveness of the line, “Who am I?”
A 35 second moment that is so well timed to transition from the vibier slow side of the album to the more upbeat song “Suburban Girl” coming in at track six.
My favorite track on this album hands down. I love any love song by Lostboycrow and this is no exception. Joining the likes of “Verona” and “Thursday,” “Suburban Girl” touches on the same longing for a loving and beautiful relationship. I would argue that love songs are a LBC staple and his strong suit.
“Violet Sky” has the perfect balance of a peppy beat but 100% vibey vocals; it’s complex and well crafted. This is the exact midpoint of the album and it is a great representation of Lostboycrow as an artist. I especially love the ending reference to an earlier Lostboycrow song, “Devil’s in the Backseat”.
Waste of Time ft Bea Miller
A definite shift for Lostboycrow. This song shifts away from more of the darker and vibier sounds of both this album and previous releases, what similar LBC song that comes to mind is all the way back to ones like “Love Won’t Sleep” or “C’est La Vie” from three or four years ago. I love this fun shift and collaboration with Bea Miller as well, it is something fresh and fun and for a springtime album this song will be a staple.
LBC commentary:“This was actually the very first song written for the ‘Santa Fe’ album. It was a song I kinda started when I had the flu on the trip...it was the second or third day of the trip and I was laying in bed and couldn’t stand to not be working on music anymore in that space with those people who were in the other room working on some sounds and things so I decided to leave my sick bed and vibe it out to write that song. It really jump started the whole writing process of the album.”
Cody In The Valley
Slowing back down, “Cody In the Valley” is another more stripped back song that really showcases the rawness and power of Lostboycrow vocals. I love how the beginning of the song starts in this gravely low part of his range then transitions up to the middle of his range; it's absolutely gorgeous. If you love the Lostboycrow trademark harmonies and full bodied choruses, you will love this song.
With a muffled guitar, basic melody, spacey sound, “San Junipero,” in its seeming simplicity, is really a standout on this album. With every listen you pick out more and more little details and intricacies, from the sound of water flowing in the beginning to muffled conversations and laughter towards the end. Very much a beautiful around-the-campfire ballad.
27 (Sad Signs)
I really will stand by how much I love the focus on the vocals in all of these songs and I especially love it in “27 (Sad Signs).” Even with prominent drums and electric guitar and synths, the vocals are never overwhelmed and the song builds beautifully.
The opening moment of the song alone suggest a love song with a lot of soul and heart and you won’t be disappointed as the song progresses. A bit more of a pure love song, Lostboycrow delivers a very classic sound with his staple crooning. Again, I will say how much I love the way every song in this album builds and really has a moment to expand and shine.
Since The Day I Was Born
The first single from this album and the final song on the full body of work. “Since The Day I Was Born” came about after his trip to Santa Fe and was really written after the rest of the album had been thought about. Starting with a few lyrics and ideas that hadn’t been captured yet in the rest of the songs, Lostboycrow created this beautiful close to this album with a great sense of perspective and reflection.
When asked why he chose to make “Since The Day I Was Born,” the first single off the album in our interview with LBC in November, he said that,
“It could be an anthem to maybe sum up the album musically and lyrically. That’s why I chose it to be the first single, because it was written after everything with that perspective, it felt like the best introduction to the album as well. It was something that could clearly be a different era, a different sound and style a little bit but still have some of those familiar themes and sounds for people, new and long time listeners as well.”
We interviewed Lostboycrow right after the release of this single:
Who is Lostboycrow?
"LostBoyCrow"-- An idea that pays homage to new beginnings and a poignant heritage -- best described as a pop minded vocalists dark love affair with the world of modern R+B. Lostboycrow is the pseudonym for artist born Chris Blair. This 2019 full-length debut, Santa Fe, closes one chapter and opens another. The last few years Lostboycrow emerged as the ultimate pop enigma. By 2018, his cumulative streams impressively tallied over 150 million highlighted by the success of “Powers,” “Stay A Little Longer,” “The Lost Boy” [feat. Skizzy Mars], and more. Meanwhile, he enchanted audiences everywhere alongside the likes of VÉRITÉ, K. Flay, and Flor on the road.
Lostboycrow is an artist that is magic, every song, every live performance entrances the listen and creates a magic bubble and this little alternate reality which is Lostboycrow.
Written by: Hannah Schneider
Edited by: Hannah Schneider and Tatum Jenkins