Tate McRae leaves failed relationships behind on ‘TOO YOUNG TO BE SAD’

Photo credit: 'TOO YOUNG TO BE SAD - EP,' RCA Records, 2021
Photo credit: 'TOO YOUNG TO BE SAD - EP,' RCA Records, 2021

After releasing seven singles in the past year, rising star and musician Tate McRae dropped her second EP titled “TOO YOUNG TO BE SAD” on March. 26.

Before newfound fame, McRae rose to stardom after her song “One Day” went viral on YouTube. Her music blew up within the last year, landing her appearances on Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, as well as performances at the MTV Video Music Awards and Europe Music Awards.

Following 2020’s success, she hasn’t lost any momentum in 2021. So far, McRae has made the Forbes 30 Under 30 List, been named Apple Music’s Up Next Artist and been designated by multiple streaming services as an “Artist to Watch.”

McRae’s previous music has drawn comparisons to Billie Eilish, but her latest EP proves she has found and embraced her own sound.

Opening with “Bad Ones,” McRae writes about falling for the wrong guy and the heartache that follows. A moody, dark-pop anthem, this song is self-aware and relatable, a theme that occurs throughout her music. Its heavy baseline makes it the perfect song to play on a late-night drive.

While “rubberband” is catchy with an infectious baseline, the song is a bit repetitive. Moving on from a relationship is something we’ve heard before, but McRae’s depiction of snapping a rubber band to forget her ex is interesting, if not painful.

Her next track “slower” contemplates the classic right-person, wrong-timing scenario. This melodic R&B track featuring McRae’s moody vocals takes an approach to relationships that’s mature for the 17 year old.

With a simple ukulele melody and mellow percussion, “R u ok” is a welcome digression from the heavier instrumentation. McRae’s vocals in this song are airy and beautiful, even as she sings about an ex who struggled with commitment. Though it’s nothing spectacular, the song has a fun beat and relatable lyrics.

“You broke me first” catapulted McRae to fame last year, and rightfully so. Released last April, the breakthrough single is certified platinum and has garnered over 800 million streams. Its relatable storyline finds McRae confronting an ex who’s come crawling back, and the vulnerability in her voice and lyrics are likely the reason for the song’s success.

McRae ends the EP with “wish i loved you in the 90s,” a stripped-down acoustic ballad that is also my favorite song. McRae’s unmistakable vocals shine through as she considers what a modern relationship would look like three decades ago.

Each song on “TOO YOUNG TO BE SAD” talks about relationships in some aspect, but the EP’s title suggests that McRae doesn’t stress too much about past heartbreak. After all, she is only 17— too young to be sad.

With her EP already topping the charts, McRae has no plans to settle. Her upcoming plans include a performance at Bonnaroo Festival and a collaboration with pop sensation Troye Sivan coming out in April.

Click here to listen to the EP in full.

Featured image ‘TOO YOUNG TO BE SAD – EP,’ RCA Records, 2021