Written by KING
Words by Jaren Kyle Uch
With the release of Middle Child's summertime love mixtape, DON'T THINK TOO FAST, curator Jaren Kyle Uch gives us his insight into the individual songs that influence the ups and downs of a summertime romance. For all of you that are caught in the sirens of love, this ones for you. Below is the Soundcloud mix hyperlinked into the image. Additionally, a Spotify link will be provided, but this platform's version does skew the listening experience and storytelling Jaren incorporated into the mixtape.
I wanted to create this mixtape as a way to convey a story of a confused person getting into a summertime romance where they don't know if they made the right choice or not to be with this person. By the end of the mixtape, there is no answer and it’s essentially how you think this person is going to turn out. The main question is: will they actually be with this person or will it just be a summer fling?
- Jaren Kyle Uch, Middle Child Creative Sounds Intern
Ericdoa - Stuck [Intro]
The intro represents the feeling of being stuck and caught in the middle. To be stuck means never reaching your destination, especially when it comes to the trivial aspect of love. Summertime love is a representation of feeling stuck, but also can be a revelation of self-awareness where you’ll know you’re not “stuck” when you “grow wings.” This is the essential lesson taught when digging deeper into this mixtape. You learn more about yourself and the inner machinations of people when you go through this adventure of love during the summer.
Ericdoa - myheartbelongs2u
"Myheartbelongs2u" is the first song of the mixtape because it represents how someone feels when they start developing a crush or relationship with someone. Most people that go through this know the doubts and feelings that you have with this certain person. Especially during the summer, it’s hard to determine if this person is a forever or never type of thing.
Highway - 2U
"2U" is essentially backing up the previous track. The song uses the same lyrics as the previous so I thought it was clever to transition these songs together. The idea is ultimately different however because he doesn’t express doubts about getting into a relationship with her and instead he embraces it; claiming that it’s a full green light for this girl.
Autumn - If It Means Anything! [1 and 2]
"If It Means Anything!"  conveys the emotion of being thankful and happy that this special person was in their life, even after they messed up. Being grateful and thankful for someone even after you or the other person messed up is a sign of growth. Coming out of any relationship there's always a takeaway that could be learned and applied into the next. Maybe summertime flings can be seen as a learning experience instead of a "should of, could of, would of."
In "If It Means Anything!2" it goes over how being too nice could in fact be a weakness. A lot of people get taken advantage of for being too nice as they become more susceptible to being walked over. This song conveys that message of being taken advantage of, but, because they're so in love, it results in forgiveness. The song wraps up by explaining how they're in fact grateful towards them, using the failed relationship as a note to put yourself first before others.
Autumn - Can't Pretend
A short but sweet track, "Can’t Pretend" portrays a person that makes them feel comfortable; kind of like an elementary school crush. If you dig deeper into the story, there are different meanings when expressing how a person feels about someone. To Autumn, expressing how he feels romantically about someone is an emotional roller coaster that never ends.
Autumn - Jay n Bey!
"Jay n Bey!" talks about the infamous power couple, Jay Z and Beyoncé. Using the two successful, wedded artists as an analogy, the track shows how the two could’ve been this power couple. The overall vibe of this track seems like it’s another love song, but this one explains the toxicity of a relationship. During a summertime romance where people’s relationships are open-ended and undefined, emotions can easily be hurt. However, during the transition from this song to the next, I did a backspin on it to represent the person in the story backtracking, feeling happy and in love with their significant other after sorting their problems out.
Warren Hue - Ok Word
The term “ok word” is slang for expressing that you are ok and comfortable with anything when it comes to your significant other. You are in love with them so much to the point where they can say anything and everything and not bat an eye. I had a clever wordplay transition for this song too as it echoed out from saying “Jade finna tell you” into the next track also by Warren Hue titled "Jade."
Warren Hue - Jade
Like “Ok Word,” “Jade” is another love song. This one expresses the feeling of being young and dumb. It’s the perfect representation of what summertime love is, a time when there aren’t too many things to worry about except your significant other [to be]. But as summer winds down it becomes a question of your needs and wants with this person.
“There’s a difference between you need me and you want me.”
Wordplay in the song like this represents how someone going through a summer romance might feel. It relates to the main question of actually being with this person or it being a temporary item in your life.
Koi - Talk It Out
"Talk It Out" goes over the relationship issues and how the easiest way to fix these issues is to “talk it out” When talking out things in a relationship, you’re not working on yourself but working on the two of you. Being in a relationship, you have to be able to communicate which is the main message in this song.
Koi - Bounds
Similar to “Talk It Out” this song gives another way to help fix issues in a relationship. Setting and communicating boundaries is a good way to express how you feel about someone. If boundaries are set then it gives you and your significant other time and space which is essential in a relationship. When in a summer relationship, this is a good thing especially if you want to make it out of this unpredictable time of year.
Nueve Lio - Landmine
“Landmine” talks about how dangerous a lover could be; which is a perfect example of being in a summer romance. They’re so detrimental to our well-being, but you know time and commitment won’t always work in your favor. The message conveyed is that you want to be around them but you know that your busy life might stop you from being serious about this person especially as summer comes to an end.
Midwxst - Bluffing
Midwxst talks about giving love a chance while also having things that create doubt in a relationship such as arguments, losing friends, lack of communication, and anxiety. However, these downsides don’t outweigh the upsides of that small percentage to “find the one.” Even though you know it may not end up the way you want it to work out, it’s always worth it to give things a shot. This song is perfect as it resembles summertime flings and situation-ships.
Brent Faiyaz - Break U Off
“Break U Off” is a song telling a story about a man explaining how he’ll be perfect for them as long as they can deal with his busy schedule. Though for a summer romance, it's important that another person shouldn’t fixate too much on their significant other especially if you’re not official.
DC The Don - Hate Being Lonely
Ever been to a party and you’re only looking for a certain someone? “Hate Being Lonely,” tells a story and expresses the emotions of this exact situation. Summertime consists of parties and hangouts with friends, but when you have an intimate relationship there is a point in time where [at that party] you just wanna be with them instead of anywhere else.
This song is obviously about love but expressed in a different connotation. DC expresses how this person is someone he cherishes dearly and will literally die for them saying,
“Cause if the world was gon end, at the end of the night, I wanna be around somebody that would die for me”
What makes summertime romances so fun is the fact that you feel this exact way but you’re not completely committed yet because it could just be another summer fling. This is typically viewed as a negative remark, but when you both just want company for a fixed amount of time, two negatives make a positive.
Joon - By My Side
Pretty self-explanatory song. Another cute love song where the character in this situation enjoys a person's company. The constant topic of not wanting to just be friends and being able to finally accept each other as more is prominent in this song.
Warren Hue - Onomono Punk
Warren Hue explores the theme of affection. What I liked most about this song is its witty lyrics that describe a relationship through a comedic lens. Pop culture references like:
“You like Kim, Impossible” or “Why am I sus? You know I like you”
make the song all the more enjoyable. It's a twist and change of flow from the pending doom a relationship might have or the tragedies of a one-sided relationship.
DC The Don - Ghost Rider
DC explores the confusing dynamic of a talking stage or summer fling. Although this person is perfect [for them], the idea of them getting bored and leaving is a looming thought in any relationship. In the chorus when he says,
“The perfect girl for conversation, but I still get bored and then end up leaving. Don’t push me too far away cause if I go too far away I might not come right back, I’m getting even Steven”
The lyric perfectly describes a dynamic of being too attached to someone giving them more power in the relationship. DC seeks to prevent this by setting boundaries for himself before things get too out of hand.
Brent Faiyaz - All Mine
This song is a reflection on the different emotions felt on either side that stem from the rumors and testimonies heard about each other. However, it’s more of a reassurance that in the end, they're loyal to each other despite their questionable history.
SZA - Snooze
Even though this song is set up like a love song, it's more about the delusions in your mind that people feed into in a relationship. Even though a feeling of being loved is prevalent, this is all a facade as they continue to mistreat their lover. The narrator [and person madly in love] continues to deliberately ignore that fact in hopes that out of nowhere, their lover becomes the person they hope for them to be.
Ryan Trey - Bound
There are doubts and questions in all relationships. Ryan Trey addresses this and makes it clear that he’ll do whatever it takes to please their person. He’s giving this girl the world and making sure she knows that whatever happens they're bound to be together.
Smino - Lee and Lovie
Smino swirls topics like true love and growing old together over upbeat production to create a standout track. This song goes into the topics of being previously used in his past relationships, and because of those past experiences, he never wants their now significant other to experience this.
Blxst - Just Sayn
"Just Sayn" tells a story of how the love and reassurance they give isn't enough to let them into their lover’s life. This dynamic makes for a one-sided relationship. Throughout the whole story, the character describes how he feels and even goes through the ups and downs of who he is as a person.
In the end, his significant other realizes this but instead of going through the steps of forming a healthy relationship, she decides to instead push him away. This track is a precursor to the closing track of the mixtape saying even though you’ve done your best to assure someone of your love, they can just end up leaving you [as the summer ends].
Dominic Fike - Think Fast
As the final track to the mixtape, this [kind of] concludes our characters' relationship. From the previous track, they're confused about how his significant other is feeling emotionally, especially after all the things that have been said. He expresses these thoughts by saying,
“I'm born, I cry, I sing, I leave. This place, this place was bad for me. What's worse, what stings, I saw her in the garden with the snakes. [She said] Think fast, you only get one try”
his lyric epitomizes the emotions of how our character is feeling. The words “think fast, you only get one try” resonate with this person because no matter how fast he acted, they only got one chance and blew it. By the end of it, we’re left with a person who blew their only shot at love. This could be one of the many turnouts of a summertime relationship and its effects can breach so deep it could carry onto the next relationship.
Wrapping up, this mixtape can still be left to interpretation. The character and stories that I built through this tape are connected to me and my real-life experiences. However, as you listen, I hope you relate your life to each song and create a story of your own. Maybe by the last track you [or your character's story] learn from this stint and enter the next relationship as a more experienced, refined individual. Summertime love is a formidable brain teaser that can have you searching through the depths of life for answers. Now August, don’t think too fast as you wrap up or carry on this summer romance into the fall season.