Xavier Mclean, a guitarist, bassist, and violinist, is the lone member of the solo project “Quarter Black.” He received his diploma amid the COVID epidemic, and like many others, he experienced a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty about the future. Feeling isolated from friends and family, Mclean resorted to music, namely guitar playing, as a way to deal with these issues. By the time he put down his instrument, he had composed three songs, one of which is the single “Why Must I Be Alone.” The Beatles, and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are cited as Quarter Black’s main musical influences.
This song reimagines a conventional musical style, such as folk, through the lens of the subgenre of bedroom pop. The straightforward guitar chords and Mclean’s down-to-earth singing style both contribute to the folk-inspired characteristics of the song. The production, in the meantime, gives it the conventional quality of bedroom-pop, which is something that we are all familiar with. The lyrics, which are inspired by McLean’s personal experiences, examine concerns of loneliness and isolation, as well as ways to navigate them. Despite its apparent lack of complexity, it still manages to be shockingly impactful, forthright, and emotional. It does not have the apathetic lyrical tone that the majority of music in this genre strives to project.
The song is not just understated but also audacious. The sincere narrative is poetic in nature, having been well executed and quite atmospheric. It merits a spot in my own personal playlist.