Crushed “Extra Life” Interview/Review

Avid songwriters Bre Morell and Shaun Durkan have solidified as a duo within their new tunes; crushed. Crushed stemmed from Bre and Shaun’s mutually resonating conversations about the emotion in “transitioning” periods in life, effects of isolation, and the expression of wanting to branch off into new projects they feel the urgent need to fulfill. The two simply needed to express themselves in the way they both desired to in order to not implode. Bre and Shaun mutually wanted to include more pop elements into their work, and they definitely nailed the perfect pop concoction through Sneaker Pimp-esque beats and Bre’s signature angelic vocals – while also creating an ethereal sensation without the lack of production feeling “full”. The ambiance of the first release “Waterlily”  had me sold before I hit the first verse, and has even taken the rightful spot of being my new favorite song. 

The full release of Extra Life also features the second single “coil“. Shaun and Bre expressed to me the presence of struggling with mental illness, Shaun accurately describing depression as a “poisoned perspective” as it has it’s ways of shielding us from feeling the good around us we may see – the track feels to present itself as the description of a direct symptom. With extreme honesty, “coil” highlights the torturing feelings of letting something toxic go with the questioning of if you even want to and why you want it back – whether it be drugs, people, or parts of yourself. 

Shaun describes the entire release of tight pop songs as “having a romantic and intimate atmosphere, but also dark.”, “Milksugar” is when the heavenly romantic part kicks in. “Milksugar” embraces the vibrancy of the vocals on the track, highlighting the romantic setting the song conveys. Bre’s intention was “to approach the lyrics in a different way”, which can be shown through the directness of exactly how the writer feels. The lyricism entails storytelling of “being on your way out” , you are saved by someone else out of the blue, and you’re finally letting yourself feel the love you are receiving. Just as the title represents, Bre describes it as a favorite due to it simply feeling like “a sugary love song”. “Milksugar” is more than a love song though, it’s going to be a staple love song. 

After learning how creatively repressed and emotionally pent up the two have been feeling, the gorgeous writing of multiple sources of emotion and detailed production all started to make more sense. Extra Life is a collection of works created by people who pushed themselves to open up enough to accomplish emotional release, leading them into pouring their hearts and pure emotion into the tracks – that’s why we can feel the music. Crushed also comes with the message of letting artists know “they can do it to” , whether it’s about releasing emotion, following your heart, or creating music. 

“We both were/are in an isolated and vulnerable state of mind, and I think that comes through the music. […] When you feel pretty sure the other person is going to be supportive, you open up more and the intimacy shows.”

– Shaun Durkan

Bre and Shaun are currently working on a collection of nine new tracks for crushed, and strive to be able to keep writing for themselves and other collaborative projects. Though it was expressed that a healing process is still presently rough, I personally believe and almost-know the continuous honest emotional release and listeners’ reactions are going to lighten things up for the two. Despite crushed having the original intention of creating the music for themselves, they are thankful for the well-deserved reaction from listeners. The talent of the duo is something to follow along with, for continuous solid tracks and shivers down your spine are only expected. 

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