On Your Headphones: WLUWD

On Your Headphones: WLUWD

By Alisa Samadani, A&E Editor Originally published in Issue 12, Volume 33 of The University Register on April 23, 2021

I wanted to close out the semester with something monumental. Lately, I have been trying to find new artists with debut albums, underground artists who are gaining traction, as well as childhood heroes who have been pumping out track after track during the pandemic. Last week, I was notified that my high school hero, Tristam, had released his first ever debut album under his own independent label, Onyx Four.

In 2012, Tristam made headway as a remix artist and up-and-coming EDM musician with hits that premiered on the monster cat label, and year after year produced samples and demos collaborating with other DJs and vocalists. After over five years on the label, Tristam decided that he wanted to pursue a different sound, a different style. He took a two and a half year hiatus from the label, hinting that he would be back with something stronger, something more unique that carried his name the way that he wanted it to be seen in the industry.

Monstercat slowly started to remove his music from their label, respecting his wishes, and in October of last year, Tristam released his first single hinting at the new album. After that, each month had roughly one single or demo tape for the album being teased, with the album being set to release in 2021. Five singles, and with a community full of love and support, “With Love Until We Die,” shortened to “WLUWD,” dropped on April 16.

“WLUWD” deals with themes of internal struggle, voicing the good, the bad, and the ugly all in 44 minutes of soothing melodies.

The album starts off with “Black Beauty,” a powerful song about feeling discarded and transparent. This theme runs rampant in the album, but there are enough uplifting messages weaved in between tracks to make you feel both heard and comforted. The power in Tristam’s music lies in the way he exposes the world for what it is, then wraps your ears in a warm, cozy blanket of, “It’s alright, I’m here now.” A perfect example of this is in “Mistake”:

“I'll remember you by all the scars//When I come back to me//I will learn//I will know//Nothing hurts from which I cannot grow.”

Even though the past is haunting, there is much you can learn from your experiences in life, whether good or bad.

With 12 songs on the album, I would have to put the title track as my favorite. “With Love Until We Die” encapsulates what humanity desperately needs to hear right now. I could gush about the hidden gems in every track, but I will leave you with the last verse of the song, as it holds an important message about the way we must go on, if we truly care to preserve our world, and rebuild our society. A+, Tristam, I cannot wait to see what else you have planned for your illustrious career.

“And while you dance//Just remember that you'll never be alone//That you'll never fade, you'll only carry on//You can let it go, it never made your way//Oh, oh, whoa//And while you're here//Don't forget to help your neighbor when they're low//Why not live, to love and humble as you grow//So when you finally go they'll cherish what you made//Oh, oh, whoa.”

Image courtesy of YouTube