When you’re a teenager, it’s easy to ignore red flags in a relationship, and hard to pull yourself out of the resulting self-sabotaging spiral, in the aftermath of that relationship.
On her latest single, Habits, 18-year-old Raleigh singer-songwriter Christina Munsey grapples with just these issues. In a light, melodic voice, Munsey portrays the struggle of having to accept the fact that you’re in a toxic relationship.
“It comes from a place of being lovesick and naïve as you try to block out anything negative about the person you want to pursue, because you don’t want to accept the fact that they’re not good for you,” Munsey told the INDY.
Synthesizers lend an atmospheric feel to the soft, wistful lyrics. The sound is relatable, moody, and confident, reminiscent of Billie Eilish or Clairo.
While toxic relationships are a heavy topic to tackle for anyone, and even moreso for someone in their late teens, Munsey says she finds inspiration in her relationships and her surroundings in Raleigh, creating music that helps her make sense of the world around her.
Habits came together for Munsey in an impromptu manner, she says. The pieces fell into place without her even being fully aware that she was writing about her experiences from the past few months. It’s evident that she’s figuring out her feelings through the lyrics, navigating relationships and personal struggles.
“I’ve had many instances where I can’t figure out how I’m feeling about a situation and, with no intention to write about it, it inevitably makes its way onto paper,” Munsey says. “That’s also why it’s so addicting, so cathartic.”
Munsey says that the COVID-19 has affected her overall motivation since graduating high school this past spring, but her musical inspiration has stayed sharp.
“For the most part, I’ve kept inspiration,” she says. “Being able to focus on songwriting and getting better at instruments has helped me stay in the game.”
Munsey plans to take a gap year before college and focus on creating music.
Habits is a follow up to her debut EP, for me or for you, which released this past March. Munsey says that her last EP experimented with different sounds and textures but that she wanted her vocals in Habits to have a lighter, more airy sound. Layered against heavy, stripped-down beats, the emotion in those vocals stands out.
Crystal Skies, from Munsey’s last EP, was featured on Spotify’s “Fresh Finds: Poptronix” playlist, and it’s easy to see the polished Habits finding a home on other electronic or indie-pop playlists as well.
You can listen to Habits below.
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