Artwork done by Emily Ashley. www.behance.net/byemilyashley

Staten is an acoustic emo/indie/pop project from Rahway, New Jersey. Staten consists of only Justin Fernandez who did all the writing, recording, mixing, and mastering on his latest release Saint”“Saint” was released on March 3rd and features multiple guest vocalists throughout the album. This is a concept album and tells Justin’s story over the time period of a few months (July 2015 – February 2016). The songs bounce between acoustic and electronic stylistically but the lyrical content consistently stays very emotional combined with catchy pop hooks.

I feel like this album is one of the best albums that I’ve found this year. Partly because of how different it is compared to what emo music I typically listen to and because of how relatable these lyrics are to me personally. Vocally, Justin writes some extremely catchy hooks. He also has a great voice for the styles he decided to use throughout. The guest vocalists are also perfect on each track they’re featured on. I feel that the tracks would still be amazing without guest vocals but with them the songs feel more personal. Lyrically, the album is very emotional. Both dark and happy/hopeful tones exist throughout the album. The first two songs, “Patricia” and “Antilles”, touch on the happy or hopeful tones. Whereas the rest of the album touch upon darker tones (Including the song “Antilles” which transitions from a happier tone, to a darker tone). The lyrical content itself is very relatable and honest. If you’ve ever been depressed or felt like you were never good enough there is a high probability of you relating to at least one song on this album.

Instrumentally, I feel like everything fits the vibes of the individual songs. Before listening to the whole album I thought that it would just be acoustic emo music. However, I was pleasantly surprised after the track “6201” started playing which is a catchy electronic pop song. I felt that it was a nice surprise and helped separate this album even further from the many other “generic” acoustic emo albums. After that initial surprise I expected there to be songs that didn’t fit my preconceived ideas of what the album would sound like. There is nothing I’d change about this album to be honest. Instrumentally it isn’t anything groundbreaking, but everything fits so perfectly with the vocals.

I related heavily to a lot of this album. Having gone through some of what he has gone through it was nice listening to someone put into words some of the things that I have had difficulty describing. My personal favorite track is easily “Garbage”. This is already a part of my album of the year list for 2016 and will definitely remain on it all year. In addition to being such a good album, Justin is also donating 100% of the funds to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) / Partnership for Drug-Free Kids or any other charity you specify. I’d be very surprised if this project doesn’t grow larger and larger in popularity with how absolutely catchy the music is. Check out the album below, be sure to follow Staten on all of their social media, and share this post so that someone else can find this amazing band!