On October 15, brothers Ross and Rocky Lynch, better known as The Driver Era, released their sophomore studio album, Girlfriend. After the success of their first LP release, X, in 2019, Girlfriend became highly anticipated amongst fans. Upon release day, though excitement for new content was quickly crushed, The Driver Era continues to display a funky, alternative tone with an infectious energy to match.
From the opening of “Heart of Mine”, it’s evident that The Driver Era has continued to expand their experimentation with distinct instrumentals. A retro R&B vibe comes across the entirety of the album, with various inputs of sound effects, unique bass lines and rhythmic beats.
Though each track contains a similar sound overall (a bit bothersome after a few playthroughs), the duo notes that a different memory or point in time is captured throughout. In an interview with Flaunt Magazine, Rocky states:
“It’s us living life and writing about it and telling our story and our different viewpoints on things. It’s about how we’ve gone about our mid-20s.”
A glimpse into a perplex relationship with “OMG Plz Don’t Come Around”, boosts of self confidence in “#1 Fan” and acknowledging our inner demons in “A Kiss” merely scratches the surface of The Driver Era’s relatability. They have found a compromise between writing from the heart, while aiming to relate to the everyday struggles of their fans — Ross’ ultimate goal.
“We write the songs hoping fans can relate to them. That’s what we’re striving for – a connection between us and our listeners.”
Watch the official music video for “A Kiss” here:
On the contrary, the biggest disappointment lies within the amount of new content fans received. An artist typically teases a couple of singles prior to an official release to give fans a taste of what’s to come. In The Driver Era’s case, a two-year-long series of single announcements diminished the overall surprise of the vibe surrounding Girlfriend.
On an album of fourteen tracks, interlude not included, ten had been released as singles prior to the debut of Girlfriend. A similar pattern was followed with X, where only four out of ten tracks were completely new. Whether excitement to share their work got the best of them, or a PR requirement pushes them to give out more than they’re willing, it’s a habit that can, and should be broken before a third album is considered.
Watch the official track by track review that The Driver Era created here:
Labelling Girlfriend as a letdown seems too harsh for the album’s result and intentions. Each track exhibits its own catchy tune, set of lyrics, or both, while reflecting on a collection of past emotions and experiences. In two years, we have witnessed a massive growth from Ross and Rocky as they continue to become more vulnerable in the public eye — a growth which fans hope to see expand in future releases.
The Driver Era plans to resume touring in the United States beginning November 15, with international dates to follow in 2022.