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Track-by-Track: Years Down Dissect Their ‘December State of Mind’ EP

To learn much more about their EP ‘December State of Mind,’ Years Down share an exclusive track-by-track rundown of their seven newest songs.



Years Down, photo by Dylan McBride

Happy, sad, angry, disillusioned, punk rock like the type doled out by Years Down is appropriate for all occasions. With lots of emotion, energy, and tenacity, the Denver punks have just released their brand new EP entitled December State of Mind. The EP is a group of hard-hitting pop-punk anthems that you won’t be able to help but have some sort of strong reaction to. Fist-pumping, heart-wrenching, smile-inducing; it’s all at play when you’re talking about Years Down. Along the way, the quintet delivers relatable social commentary, like what you hear on one of their latest tracks, “In Defense of The Delete Key,” and reflections on mental health, as well as the ups and downs of modern life.

December State of Mind was recorded alongside producer Taylor Hahn, when the Denver-based band was able to congregate in the studio in 2021, despite the various lockdowns and restrictions we had to endure. Their intention was to record something that would maintain the liveliness and energy of their live show, along with that honest, down-to-earth connection the band has with their fans. Recently, Years Down connected with Remorsefully Numb for a tour of Texas which helped gain the band exposure to a much wider audience that was very receptive to their music.

To learn much more about December State of Mind, we recently connected with the band for an exclusive track-by-track rundown of all the details and particulars about these five impressive anthems.

1. “Ur Not Even Pock Pump”

Griffin Mather: “This one is all about being on the verge of falling apart, that moment when you’ve been holding things together for so long you’re one ‘you good bruh’ away from literally breaking down. When I was writing a lot of the material for this album, things in my life were stressful, spinning out of control, and I couldn’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel. Definitely one of my favourite songs on the album, really love the guitars, and how tight the drums ended up sounding. It was actually one of the first songs I worked on with our new guitarist Rob Cornell, and was a sick start.”

2. “Shades of Grey”

Mather: “To say I struggle with depression would be an understatement, I’ve always had issues with my mental health since I was a kid, and as a result, maintaining friendships/relationships have always been a challenge, which is what sparked the initial idea for the majority of the words. The lyrics for this song attempt to capture those many instances when I was incapable of opening up and being vulnerable with the many people I care so deeply for in my life.

“It also touches on how I’m prone to hiding my feelings by blaming all these ancillary things like the weather. Again, as with other things I’ve written, the imagery of the song stays close to the winter sort of vibe, I’m not entirely sure why, but I have this love/hate relationship with that season in particular.”

3. “I’ll Shout You Out in My Suicide Note”

Mather: “There’s a bit of theme to the album if that isn’t evidently clear at this point. I’m legitimately running into very real serious difficulties; at this point in the writing process, I had been dealing with fits of depression-induced insomnia. As a person with depression, it’s pretty normal to have these lows that to non-neurodivergent folks would seem terrifying, but to people, like myself, and the innumerable others who live with this, it’s standard, it’s the norm, it’s where a lot of us exist, as terrible as it is to say you ‘get used to it.’ So used to it, so oddly functioning that you’re almost ‘comfortable,’ with the cycle, with the habits, it all becomes so predictable, then every once in a while, you achieve this new low you never thought possible, the bottom or what you thought was rock bottom opens up, and things sink lower.

“That’s pretty much where I’m at when I wrote this song. I had come to terms with the low I found myself at, but then things got worse, worse than I had ever remembered experiencing, and I have had some harrowing lows in my past. It was to the point, as the song says, ‘I just wish I had hope’ because at the time I did not.”

Years Down ‘December State of Mind’ EP album artwork

Years Down ‘December State of Mind’ EP album artwork

4. “Big S.A.D.”

Mather: “The first actually hopeful song on the record kind of stands out when placed against the overarching themes that are so present in the first few tracks. Basically, I was trying to say regardless if you’re 15 or 25 or in your 30s, it’s really easy to look around at your peers and feel like you’ve fallen behind, this song is an attempt to paint the picture about all the feelings around that. When the idea for the lyrics came to me I was (and still currently am) struggling to come to terms with the fact that by all comparisons to other people my age I am woefully behind, and falling further by the day, or at least that’s how it feels sometimes.

“It’s so easy in the time of social media to be perpetually comparing yourself to your peers and their successes, to just spend every second robbing yourself of joy, stealing happiness from your own triumphs because there’s always someone doing better. The verses really push that emotion with the choruses being there as a sort of relief, a reminder that not everyone grows at the same pace and it’s important to recognize that you are progressing at the rate that works for you is so much more important than trying to jump steps.”

5. “In Defense of the Delete Key”

Maher: “I’m tackling my general sense of regret in this track. There are so many choices in my life that I constantly wonder, had I made them differently, would I still be in the same mess I’m in today… Would my mental health have gone through such a beating had I taken another path at those junctures? Because, I can say without question there are many direct moments in my past that uniquely contributed to the way things have come to be and the way I have come to be.”

6. “Fading Faster”

Sterling Swanson: “‘Fading Faster’ is your typical broken-hearted pop-punk song. Every band has one, and this one is ours. What I like most about it is that it’s one of those songs that feels upbeat and positive, with lyrics that speak quite the opposite. This track screams more ‘pop’ than ‘punk’ to me and is almost a breath of fresh air from all of our super heavy stuff.”

7. “Maxwell House Coffee Theme Song”

Ben Gonzalez: “The first part of the song is just going through a daily routine which I think everybody does. The second part is just talking about hanging out with friends, and how social media has kind of taken away from hanging out in person, or physically, or intimately. Then the next part is wanting to go to a different world to get away from this bullshit world. And then the last part is coming back down to earth and knowing you got to start a new day just like any other. In the chorus there’s that line asking, ‘Do you even know who you are’ and that’s just a line of self-reflection.”

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