Quinn Christopherson - EP Art.jpeg
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Alaska Native and 2019 NPR Tiny Deck winner Quinn Christopherson’s new EP, I Am Bubblegum, will be released on December 10th, by Play It Again Sam Records (http://www.playitagainsam.net/).  A much-anticipated full studio album is expected in 2022.  The EP will feature three songs, the title track, I Am Bubblegum, Good Boy, and a remix of Loaded Gun.

In I AM Bubblegum, Christopherson traces his life journey through some key mile markers while offering the sentiment “I don’t know who I am” with each refrain.  

“Bubblegum is about evolving and growing as a person. It should be celebrated to not know who you are. So often we're pressured to nail down and define our identity, as if it’s something finite. However, who I am isn’t written in stone waiting for me to unearth it. Things change and that’s the point. Bubblegum chronicles some of my evolution as a person.” - Quinn Christopherson

For fans, the new EP reveals new musical identities while remaining true to the lyrical circumspective nature they have grown to value and appreciate. This release represents acceptance of one’s fluid nature of their identity as a person and as a musician.  New and old fans will appreciate the sarcastic nature of Good Boy which reveals the hypocrisy of some males claiming to be feminists and their perception of what a good boy should do.  

Many have tried to categorize Christopherson’s music, pigeonholing it often into one category for descriptive efficiency.  Many music pundits will continue to do so with the new and future material.  But, as he states above, there need not be a label as identity can flow and change.  As I Am Bubblegum reveals, Quinn Christopherson’s music will change over time as his identity changes.  

Identity is at the core of who Christopherson is a human being.  He is Athabaskan and Iñupiaq and a trans man.  His life’s journey is often at the core of his songwriting and on full display in his lyrics. 

Historically, Christopherson has been known for sharing personal reflections, often featuring family members, and wearing his emotions squarely on his sleeve.  Writing has always been a therapeutic process, with the lyrics serving a cathartic role, helping Christopherson process trauma and addiction.  Like all great songwriters, this brutal honesty serves to help others process and work through similar circumstances in their lives. The lyrics become a friend, an auditory support network.  

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My conversation with Christopherson focused on the songwriting process and his transition to a full-time musician.  After winning NPR’s Tiny Desk, Christopherson toured with Courtney Barnett and fellow Alaska band Portugal, The Man.  He spoke fondly of these experiences and is motivated that another band can make it from Alaska.  He was also booked to perform in a European Festival with headliners such as Iggy Pop, Sinead O’Connor, Lauryn Hill, and Rufus Wainwright.

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Like other live performers, COVID-19 realities led to the cancellation of all live events. When asked about any disappointment with missed opportunities, Christopherson had none.  Rather, he spoke with gratitude about honing his craft. 

What once was purely a cleansing and organic exercise was now full-time work. When I interviewed Christopherson, he mentioned the challenge of not pushing the process when there was less of a creative flow present and working longer when the creative energies were flowing.  The pandemic period provided an opportunity to learn the ebb and flow of professional songwriting. 

Christopherson has a bright future as a songwriter and will continue to make Alaska proud for several decades to come.  Fans will enjoy the auditory journey as he grows musically while staying true to the lyrical trademark of a Quinn Christopherson tune.

For now, enjoy the three-song EP along with his other previously released material.  Soon enough, the full album will greet you like an old friend you haven’t seen for some time. The lyrics will catch you up on Christopherson’s life and you will share your admiration for the new musical stylings.

This article originally ran on anchoragepress.com.

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