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The loss of innocence is a tangible phenomenon. A moment spent gazing into the eyes of a child in comparison to one’s own is enough to see the harrowing effect the world has on its inhabitants. Yet, with the pain we inevitably endure as humans comes lessons, valuable tokens we take back from the trenches up to the surface, illustrating time and time again the power of the “silver lining” effect.

Here to further explore this concept is 22-year-old, San Diego-native artist, songwriter, and producer, TRACES, in his latest single “Silver Lines.” No stranger to the darker hues of life, the young creative possesses a disposition far beyond years. Across his impressive catalogue, spanning back to 2016, the intricacies of the chosen subject matters speak to his thoughtful nature and inquisitive approach to the world around him.

“Silver Lines” specifically outlines a personal experience for TRACES, that of falling in love for the first time. A reminder to allow people to write their own stories, he explores unraveling mental blocks of prescribing to a common pessimistic assumption that each relationship is doomed to an eventual end. Through letting go of control and expectation, he learns to embrace love for the pure expression it is, then & there.

Co-written with Isaiah Blas and produced by Dave Berg, the left-of-center bop is a testament to TRACES’ lyrical, melodic, and vocal prowess. Lines such as “Did we buy these roses just for them to die?” and “Or could I overthink myself to silver lines?” quintessentially capture the fear associated with taking the gut-wrenching leap of faith into vulnerability. Though still tinged with melancholy, the track sonically mirrors the sanguine notion of finding “silver lines” by turning dread on its head, encouraging you to groove through discomfort.

Electronically-infused with distorted, sweeping sounds and heavy, pulsating beats, Berg creates an ideal foundation for TRACES’ unique vocal tone to resonate. Exploring nearly three octaves within the song, TRACES’ vocal ability shows considerable growth. Utilizing his falsetto with unprecedented strength and ease, his vocal performance is heavily emotive as he moves freely through his range, while managing to never compromise impeccable technique.

“Silver Lines” proceeds a slew of highly-anticipated new music from TRACES, due later this year. With two EPs and a handful of singles previously released, the independent artist has garnered millions of streams across platforms, gaining accolades from a plethora of acclaimed tastemakers including HuffPost, Suicide Sheep, and Buzzfeed.

In celebration of the release, TRACES divulged three findings of silver lines in his own life, focusing on mental health, the music industry, and falling in love for the first time. Read on below…

Mental Illness

In the last few years, as I’ve started to get into young adulthood and experience a little more of what “real life” is, I’ve had to make the choice to not take a pessimistic view. As you grow up, you gain perspective on the reality of the world and I’ve found that there is often more to be afraid of than not. I find myself having to choose to be optimistic, opposed to a time when it was just a byproduct of youthful delusion or idealism. That can feel really heavy sometimes for me, but I think it’s in these moments from which we grow the most.

I’ve dealt with depression since I was 13 (before I knew what depression was in the first place) and things can get so heavy so quickly, amplifying that pessimistic outlook. It can easily turn into this unintentional self-loathing cycle that is really hard to climb out of. You get these little glimmers of hope along the way though, that reminds you it’s not forever, it’s just for now and one day you’ll be better off for it.

The Music Industry

It’s become obvious to me that I am not the only artist to think about how frustrating and depleting the music industry can be on a weekly basis, so I don’t feel the need to talk about all the individual problems there are. Rather, I just want to focus on the words of encouragement I’ve heard and held onto. One of them is that the answer to most of your frustrations with the industry is to go write more songs. I’m a relatively new artist but I’ve been around long enough to have some big ups and some huge downs. As an artist, you have the freedom to create something new at any time and that’s the only way you’re going to get better/closer to making something that connects with the right people.

There’s this Jon Bellion song I love that talks about focusing on getting better instead of getting bigger. I think you have to fall in love with the process, seek the opportunities to learn from other people, and find gratitude that you have the ability to create new art every day of your life. I am not an expert practitioner of keeping this silver line in view but it’s the path I try to walk as consistently as I can. At the end of the day, the joy is in the creation.

Falling In Love

I think the idea of struggling to buy into the bright side (silver line) of a seemingly helpless situation is relatable to a lot of different circumstances, but ultimately in this song, I was talking about love. The blunt truth is that most romantic relationships don’t work out and can feel like pathways to heartbreak or being let down. For a long time, that is the lens I viewed relationships through, basically setting myself up for failure.

The silver lining here is two fold: first, there is a lot more to a relationship than success or failure, and second, some people do find “true love” or whatever you want to call it. When you’re in a relationship, your partner becomes a reflection of yourself, exposing all your best and worst parts and allowing you to see yourself a little more clearly. It gives us an opportunity to be known by someone else, for who we truly are, without the mask.



photos / Dave Berg

story / Jessica Thomas

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