Alternative artist INTRN is coming to terms with a drawn-out relationship that has run its course on melancholy “New Distractions” EP.  The hypnotizing lo fi driven landscapes explore the elaborate web of conflicting emotions attached to a failed relationship headed nowhere. INTRN bursts with vulnerable vocals and nostalgia driven soundscapes drilling the final nail to the coffin of the end of an era. “New Distractions” returns to definitive past memories and moments that define the unavoidable conclusion of the relationship while turning the mirror to himself, facing the unsolved feelings in direct consequence of the breakup.

We spoke with INTRN in the midst of the  music video release for “New Distractions” where we discussed quarantine, messy breakups and memorable moments during the making of the EP.

Quarantine has been an unexpected experience for society. Regular life has been placed on hold, changing everyone’s daily routine including INTRN. The 24 hr cycle of negative news updates regarding the global pandemic has been a double edged sword providing knowledge while dragging our mental health down, “Quarantine is treating me probably the same as it is probably treating most people. Some days are better than others and it is really a mission to stay positive.” One of the positive effects of quarantine is INTRN has gained quality time with himself, “But for the most part I have found some inspiration in just taking more time to rest and be with myself. I have been consistently working on projects but the inspiration has been paused a bit in that I spend most days at home and am not actively experiencing a lot.”

The captivating “New Distractions” project is an intoxicating labor of love between longtime friends and collaborators Austin Harms, Traces and Luke Shrestha. The group worked effortlessly, creating a particular sincere approach on the concept of the EP, INTRN recalls the memorable experience; “So I wrote and recorded this EP with my good friends Austin Harms, Traces, and Luke Shrestha. It was really effortless to work with them and have them help me tell this story and beyond rewarding to just make music that I’m very proud of with my best friends.” INTRN says his favorite song to write was the track titled “Seams” because of how quickly it came together, “it was the first song we wrote of the week and it really just fell together quickly. We started with this energy and found a groove and within a day we had “Seams””

In an industry filled with preconceived standards, automatically placing artists in stereotypical boxes of what type of music is considered acceptable or marketable to society’s norms, INTRN breaks open the wall of the toxic masculinity box, addressing the deep pain aching in the inner depths of his soul after a devastating breakup, “the concept for this ep came from a messy break up which filtered in an out of my life for the last few years. And the struggles of knowing when to call something quits and do what is best for yourself.”

As the EP ends, the revelation is abundantly clear, Pain is a necessary step to the path of finding joy. INTRN admits the ways the project served as a  learning experience for him, “I definitely learned something from this project. I learned that sometimes immediate frustration or pain is a price we have to pay sometimes for long term happiness. Even though in the moment we might want the instant gratification of attention or affirmation, it may be worse for your mental state to perpetuate the same bad habits.”

INTRN is one of the rare artists who bares his inner self, exposing his scars, the healing parts of his heart without a hint of fear flipping the music norms upside down, As we conclude our chat, he offers this piece of advice to anyone going through a similar journey as the story he shared on his latest release: “ I would say to trust yourself enough to know when you aren’t being loved the way you deserve and don’t be afraid to be alone. Being alone isn’t inherently a bad thing and is only temporary. Eventually someone will love you the way you deserve.”

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Photo Credit: Jonny Villegas