While upbeat drums and baritone melodies intensify, a tenor note soars through the accompaniment, leading in the harmonized climax of “Wallflower” by singer, music producer, instrumentalist, and songwriter Jack Warren ’22. However, upon closer examination of the song, beyond the cheerful and hyper tunes, there is a story about struggling with anxiety and loneliness, according to Warren.
“[This song] is about the duality of introversion and extroversion. I’m naturally a very extroverted person, but there are definitely times when anxiety just gets the best of me and I shut down entirely and become borderline antisocial. It touches on wanting to be able to communicate with anyone at any given time but feeling like you can’t because of your anxiety. I feel like it’s something that people can relate to, so that’s the inspiration behind the song,” said Warren.
On April 30, under his band name, “Headrush,” Warren released “Wallflower” onto all popular music streaming platforms. According to Warren, this single, which has been in the works since September 2020, was written and performed solely by him, and he completed all of its mixing, mastering, and producing in his bedroom at home. Warren explained that the instrumental and production stage was completed by February 2021, but he waited a few months before writing the lyrics.
“I was sitting with the instrumental, because I really liked the chord progression and how the song moved and how it felt, and all the production elements of it, so I wanted to make sure I did the lyrics right,” said Warren.
Warren’s thoughtfulness in creating lyrics can be felt throughout the song, noted Sean Meng ’22, a friend and fellow musician. Directing the context of the song toward the Andover community, Meng asserted that the lyrics convey Warren’s experience with anxiety, which is also shared by many people on campus.
“I think this song reflects the way that [Warren] approaches his own anxiety. He doesn’t talk about it in a somber way, but rather in a very energetic and optimistic way. He approaches life very energetically, and this song is his way of spreading encouragement to others,” said Meng.
As Warren’s fifth single released over the past year, “Wallflower” demonstrates Warren’s growth as a producer and vocalist, noted Sofia Garcia ’21, a friend and fellow co-head of the a capella group, Keynotes. Having listened to Warren’s previous singles, Garcia noted that “Wallflower” expands upon the production and style of Warren’s second-to-last single, “Surreal.”
“‘Surreal’ was definitely [Warren] leaning deeper into pop/rock type aesthetics, and I think he builds on that in ‘Wallflower,’ [where] he plays around with layering really well. He always has ways to combine different vocals that are interesting and unique, and they add so much more depth to the song,” said Garcia.
Determined to continue developing as a musician in the future, Warren is currently working toward releasing either an E.P. or album. Regardless of where his music career takes him, Warren noted that he hopes the message of “Wallflower” will continue bringing awareness to people struggling with anxiety.
“It’s a pretty common concept that people struggle with their anxiety and want to talk to other people about it. I want people to feel they’re not alone when they listen to [‘Wallflower.’] It is an energetic song, [so] I want people to feel the energy and have fun and approach it with optimism and still feel like, ‘Yeah, I got this, this is me too. I’m not alone,’” said Warren.