Powerful, emotive + warm
Adam England
12:56 14th September 2022

“I don’t know what I was looking for / But I knew when I found you”, Quinn Christopherson sings on ‘Thanks’, a message to his partner and the mellow opener to his debut album Write Your Name in Pink. 

It feels like a case of starting as we mean to go on, with family and identity being recurring themes throughout the record. ‘Celine’ is about Christopherson’s mother channeling her inner Celine Dion at karaoke, while ‘2005’ looks back on MSN, Avril Lavigne and, erm, mad cow disease – a formative time in the life of the youngest millennials. 

The Alaskan singer-songwriter gives off bedroom pop vibes: he’s going on tour with Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen and Julien Baker, and he feels like a good fit among them.

Any coverage of Christopherson tends to focus on or at least touch on his background as an Indigenous Alaskan — his mother is Athabaskan while his father is Iñupiat — and a transgender man. While that shouldn’t overshadow his clear talent, his identity is relevant to the lyrical matter at hand, and his storytelling background: his grandmother was a storyteller, and it’s a key aspect of his culture. 

This background is reflected in the music and the lyrics here, with both sticking in the mind after listening. ‘Take Your Time’ is a slower ballad, almost, and on the track Christopherson pays tribute to his friend and collaborator, while ‘Uptown’ is relatively upbeat with more of an electronic feel.

Album closer ‘Erase Me’ is one of the songs that really raised Christopherson’s profile, the singer-songwriter winning NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest with the track. It takes on a Twenty One Pilots-esque quality towards the end, Christopherson almost shouting with his voice full of emotion as he revisits his experiences of coming out as transgender. 

As an album, Write Your Name in Pink flows well and feels like a coherent record. Powerful, often emotive lyrics mesh with warm beats, but there’s enough about each song to set it apart from the last. 

Write Your Name In Pink arrives 16 September via Play It Again Sam.

Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.

Photo: Press