'The Story of Us'

Video by Quinton Williams

Photos by Jennie McKeon

Quinn XCII’s got style.

From his elaborate, vintage-inspired music videos to his epic yellow, fashionably retro album cover to his carefully thought out lyrics, everything this indie-pop artist does oozes with personality and flair. In case you’re wondering about his stage name, watch this.

Short version of the story: Quinn is an acronym and XCII is the Roman numeral for 92, the year Mike (his real name) was born.

“The Story of Us” is an intimate tour of Quinn XCII’s love life. The title of his debut album might sound romantic, but, in all honesty, the bad outweighs the good.

This column goes out to all the people celebrating Valentine’s Day in the color black.

Many of the tracks tackle the hurdles of modern relationships — technology, finances, reliability. In every song, the couple keeps each other at least two cell-phones-length away.

One of my favorites on the record is the radio-ready duet “Flare Guns,” featuring sweet, crisp vocals from Chelsea Cutler. It’s catchy and passionate without being over zealous.

Flare guns go off in my head, saying not to call you this late

Still I dial those numbers every time

— “Flare Guns”

I love songs that feature male and female vocals. Quinn XCII’s vocals and many of the rhythms give this album an intriguing reggae feel with a touch of catchy pop.

This is one of the rare albums in which I can say I not only enjoy the intro, but also find it one of the top tracks on the record. “Intro (Slow)” is a perfectly paced message indicating what the record is all about, finding a significant other who holds up their end of the relationship without throwing up red flags at every turn — unlike the “psycho from a Midwest suburb” Quinn XCII references in “Straightjacket” or the emotional manipulator in “Always Been You.”

I’m not looking for perfect, just for somebody who

Holds it down when I’m hurting, lifts me up when I lose

— “Intro (Slow)”

While Quinn XCII often channels a vintage style, this album is fresh. This artist should be on your radar.

If you need direction, I think “Tourist” is the coolest, most musically diverse song on this record. Pun intended.

There’s a house over the hill that somebody died in

There’s a pool down in the backyard I would love to lie in

It’s the first time that I’m in the Hills, I kind of like it

— “Tourist”

Hey, I'm Savannah. I collect records, and they collect dust. Like my preferred media form, I strive to not become obsolete. I created Off the Record as a way to turn my mind inside out, into something visual and tangible. One is the loneliest number, so I asked my friends to join.