Bubbling up with a distinct and diverse sense of sonic alchemy, 19-year-old CMTEN unveils his anxiously awaited debut EP, MUSIC BOX, available today on Masked Records/Warner Records and features the track “angel (so bad),” which premiered earlier this week on Apple Music. Click HERE to stream MUSIC BOX EP.
This nine-song project ebbs and flows between manic electronic transmissions, warm piano, and simultaneously shuddering and soothing vocalizations moving in sync at full throttle towards 21st century pop oblivion. There are wide variations with each song in terms of content, style, and even genre. You get Nintendo-inspired songs and you also get punk. “angel (so bad)” pairs heavenly keys and warbling vocal delivery as he details romantic follies. Then, there’s “sorry I don’t get what you’re saying” where gorgeous piano underscores ponderous lyrics. Everything culminates on “walking to a place I’ve never been.” Acoustic guitar wraps around thumping bass as he cleverly decries, “Open up the spreadsheet, tally all my mistakes,” before one last hypnotic hook.
CMTEN explains: “Although MUSIC BOX is technically an EP, I see it more as a random collection of cool-ass music. The project consists of several songs that vary drastically in style, coming together to showcase every little thing that makes the creation of music so fulfilling to me. Whether a track is something emotional, experimental, or just straight-up fun, each has a special place in my heart. I’m constantly experimenting with different sounds, styles, and influences, so it only makes sense that my debut body of work reflects that. So, when it comes down to it, MUSIC BOX is all about the magic of making music just for the hell of it. I love these songs, and I hope you will, too.”
After racking up nearly 60 million total streams thus far and averaging 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify, CMTEN set the stage for the EP with a series of fan favorites, including the title track “MUSIC BOX,” “BORED” and “ALONE” feat. RILEY THE MUSICIAN. Of the latter, Lyrical Lemonade raved, “These two use all the passionate and learned energy in their bodies to craft together a brief, yet impactful experience that not only proves these previously-mentioned ideas, but at the same time, an experience that stands out as a simply blissful pop offering by itself.” He also caps off the EP with his 2020 breakthrough single “Never Met!” feat. Glitch Gum.
In the seventies, eighties, or nineties, this story might’ve started in a garage with a guitar…However, the genre-smashing artist, songwriter, producer/mixer, vocalist, and San Francisco Bay area native unassumingly turned his University of Utah dorm room into ground zero for Glitchcore in early 2020. Translating a passion for old school pop punk and the likes of 100 gecs, Porter Robinson and Soundcloud Rap into a sound of his own, he uploaded “NEVER MET!” and organically attracted a groundswell of support to the tune of 30 million total streams, 1 million-plus TikTok videos, and more.