Carter James is a 21-year-old singer/songwriter based in Boston, Massachusetts. Studying at Berklee College of Music and specializing in sad electronic ballads, Carter writes and records all of their music in their bedroom. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Carter strives to connect people through music and make them feel a little less alone. With over 2,000,000 streams on Spotify, they prove that they are doing what they set out to do – making music that resonates, even without a studio.
“Don’t Know How to Feel” is Carter’s latest single, driven by the desire to learn to love again. It walks the line between commercial and one-of-a-kind sound. The indie electronic track is an upbeat, romantic proposition built on a gritty synth bass and lush soundscapes. It has a bassline that warrants some hip-swaying motion, making you feel like you could be strutting in a big city. The crunchiness is offset by the more iridescent vocals and swirling synths.
The lyrics are unapologetically blunt and precariously honest. Carter makes it known that they aren’t here to catch feelings. They’re just here to get theirs and do them. Yet despite all of their bold statements, they admit that it’s been a minute since they’ve felt something real and that he doesn’t know how to feel. The lyrics, much like the sound of the song, teeter on the line of feeling nothing and feeling something. It’s a place that many people have found themselves, especially after heartbreak, something we learn through the lyrics Carter is trying to avoid. The duality is expertly crafted into not only the lyrics, but also into the opposing sound elements throughout the song.
This catchy tune is one that you may easily find yourself playing on repeat. If not for the relatability to the message, then at least for the lively instrumental.