Tje Austin‘s career may have hit a highlight with Season 1 of NBC’s The Voice, but it wasn’t about to stop there. Austin has also been a Semi Finalist in the 2015 International Songwriting Competition (R&B) and was featured at the 2014 ASCAP Expo for Pop Songwriting. His accolades, however, are nothing to his life experiences that have driven him to his new EP, I Belong To You. He has come face to face with cancer, battling it for over three years. This time has led to an image reboot, and a compelling narrative to share with his audience, both through his music and otherwise.
“Whiskey” sets a slow, gorgeous tone for the seven track work, taking us down the path of love lost. In fact, it touches on unconditional love, as he states he’ll be “drowning all [his] sorrows / at the bottom of the bottle” even though he “hope[s] he never lets you down / hope[s] he’s a good man.” “Next Time” brings up a self-reflective, dismal narrative with a more upbeat pop sound. Lines like “next time I fall in love, I’ll run away, I won’t turn back” allow you a glimpse into the hurt that has led him to build up so many walls. “Higher”, in direct contrast, welcomes us with a catchy and uplifting drum solo, where he promises he “can make it better,” and “take you higher babe,” securing this funky song as the most danceable track of the collection.
“I Belong To You” takes on a more intimate sound, as can be deduced from the title of the track, while “So Good” gives hope to the hippies of the world, as he indicates a fortune teller told him to be on the lookout for his other half. Smooth, crooning, this song rides in like the proverbial knight in shining armor. (Literally. Listen to the lyrics.) “Tomorrow” showcases some insanely controlled and beautiful vocals, as Tje almost lets go of his love to allow fate to work through it all. He rounds out the EP with a song titled “Everyone Goes Away”, where his first admission is “sometimes I feel like dying / my body, it hurts so bad.” As dismal as it sounds, he addresses the inevitable and all of its accompanying emotions, and by the end of the song there is complete acceptance of that inevitability.
I Belong To You is out January 20th. It is available for preorder now, with the song “Whiskey” available for immediate download.