Briston Maroney proved he’s a name to follow with a string of fascinating EPs, most recently 2020’s Miracle. Now, the 23-year-old Tennesseean has announced his debut album Sunflower, out April 9th, and shared a preview with the new single “It’s Still Cool If You Don’t”.
From 2019 to 2020, Maroney recorded the album in Los Angeles with Grammy-winning producer John Congleton. “He communicates really directly and really taught me a lot about speaking precisely and speaking about what you want to accomplish with a song and a record,” Maroney said in a statement. “Whereas I have a tendency to be really abstract. I learned to be able to switch into that mode. He had my back the whole time.”
With additional help from Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull and Adele’s “Someone Like You” co-writer Dan Wilson, Maroney crafted a ten-song record that doubles as a personal statement. “It’s been my journal for a really long time,” Maroney said of music. “There’s a beauty in songwriting. It’s a scrapbook. It’s a photo album. And if you’re really putting your heart into what you’re doing and writing songs for the right reasons, every one of them should take you back to a very specific place.”
Judging from the lyrics of “It’s Still Cool If You Don’t”, the song came out of growing amorous feelings alongside uncertainty whether they were reciprocated. Maroney builds a charming hook out of stuttering and backtracking. “So if you want to/ Maybe we ought to/ I’ll talk if you do/ But we don’t have to/ I’ll go if you go/ I won’t if you won’t/ I’ve got a feeling/ But it’s still cool if you don’t.”
The track comes with a music video directed by Joey Brodnax. Across a string of pastoral locations, it shows off Maroney’s sense of humor, and, if you stick around until the end, a surprisingly decent Australian accent. Check out “It’s Still Cool If You Don’t” below.