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Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

NYU sophomore Andie Mackenzie showcases lyrical pop at its best in ‘Afterthought’

Released on Sept. 8, the artist’s five-track debut EP demonstrates strong lyricism.

If you’ve exhausted the tracks on Spotify’s suggested playlists like “Chill Vibes” and “Lorem,” and still want more, look no further than Andie Mackenzie’s newly released debut EP “Afterthought.” A sophomore studying music business at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Mackenzie employed her knowledge of the industry to release her five-track EP.  

During her first year, Mackenzie met fellow music business major Luke Bonenfant, who helped her produce “Afterthought” in his New Jersey studio. 

“We made a demo of ‘Do Your Worst,’ and it was truly just like a test run,” Mackenzie said. “We were just like, ‘do we vibe musically?’ and the demo we made — pretty much except for the drums — sounds very similar [to the final version]. [It] was pretty full, and final vocals were even on it. So we were like, ‘OK, I think we can make a good team.’”

After recording demos of five of Mackenzie’s songs, the team saw potential for an EP. Bonenfant worked on the production side, but also contributed his own musical talents, according to Mackenzie.

“I come in and I play everything, but a lot of times Luke is definitely a much better musician, especially recording-wise,” Mackenzie said. “He will usually just track the instruments because he can get it done in fewer takes, but for some new music that’s going to be coming out, I’m more involved with the playing process.” 

 “Afterthought” opens with the song “Forethought,” which is reminiscent of what you might hear walking through the streets of New York City. Mackenzie used sound bites from her first year at NYU to incorporate snippets of music, conversations and city noise into the song, all the while allowing her strong lyricism to shine through.

“Over this past year, I took a lot of videos and photos, just on my phone,” Mackenzie said. “They’re mostly all my friends and moments throughout the two semesters that are somehow involved with the EP, whether it was friends who I would share songs with or [people] I’ve talked about the situation with or the person from the situation [that inspired the album]. It was really random. I literally just sat on GarageBand and threw clips together.”

As a San Diego native, Mackenzie views the ocean as a reminder of home. In that vein, “Edge of the Blue” uses beach-related imagery to explain love and relationships, with lyrics like “A sandcastle pretty to look at / But not meant to last.”

“There’s this place called the La Jolla Tide Pools in La Jolla and I had gone there,” Mackenzie said. “I was also just dealing with heartbreak a little bit. I was actually going through like a rut during Christmas, so that’s when I wrote ‘Edge of Blue,’ and I just started thinking about the ocean. Sometimes I feel like I just want to talk to the ocean. It just seems like it’s this void that can carry your emotions somewhere else.”

“Steps of Her Brownstone” is by far the standout track from Mackenzie’s EP. The lyrics tell a story of the artist’s heartbreak, and the production is dynamic. Its sound is more upbeat when compared to her other songs, but also, according to Mackenzie, more fictitious. She explained the difficulty she sometimes found finding a balance of truth when writing songs based on her own life.

“Something interesting for me when it came to the music is, obviously it’s about people in my life or a situation,” Mackenzie said. “One of the struggles I had was writing and being genuine about the feelings and the situation without completely dragging the person into the music.”

The EP concludes with the titular track, “Afterthought.” The song leaves the listener with a sense of closure, especially when juxtaposed with the opener’s ambiguity. Mackenzie asks the hard questions of a former partner in this song, while wondering if she is “just an afterthought.” 

As a whole, “Afterthought” is the perfect soundtrack to play doing homework or pondering life in Bobst Library. The EP’s songs all exemplify a range of Mackenzie’s artistry, while still remaining cohesive.

Contact Karina Rower at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Karina Rower
Karina Rower, Deputy Copy Chief
Karina Rower is a Gallatin first-year planning to concentrate in journalism, fashion and computer science. She accredits her love of nitro cold brew and '90s music to her hometown of Portland, Oregon. You can find her on Instagram @karinar0wer and also on Letterboxd @karinarower.

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    UmaSep 18, 2023 at 2:16 pm

    Such a well written article!