Glowing with warmth and tenderness, Brett Altman’s catchy “Is He Thinking of You” is a non-traditional breakup song full of love and understanding.
for fans of Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Ed Sheeran
The short and sweet answer is, yes: He is thinking about you. Love may fade and your feelings about another person may change, but there’s no way to erase real emotional and physical experience; our memories, imperfect as they are, exist as our door to the past – keeping us ever-connected to the person we once were, even if that’s only a shell of who we are today. Alongside that shadow of ourselves are all the people who once stood by our side – exes and more. Lest we disregard all of our experiences but those in the present, it’s important to always keep in mind that, just because things didn’t work out in the long run, doesn’t mean they didn’t work at the time. Glowing with warmth and tenderness, Brett Altman’s catchy “Is He Thinking of You” is a non-traditional breakup song full of love and understanding – not because the narrator thinks the couple is going to get back together, but because he can appreciate the time they shared, and find closure in the parting of ways.
When you’re looking at him,
things are getting clearer
Don’t believe what you see,
new reflection in the mirror
Now you can’t rely on chemistry,
from your history
Try to align, the mess left inside,
but you’re on your own
Listen: “Is He Thinking of You” – Brett Altman
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Brett Altman’s new song “Is He Thinking of You,” his third overall release and second with duo partner Max Perkins. Two mid-twenty somethings based in Hoboken, New Jersey, Altman and Perkins’ music has a cheerful pop singer/songwriter vibe. Built with big melodies, beat-making guitars, sweet harmonies, and ever-present honesty, their songs are highly reminiscent of Jason Mraz – a trait Altman takes particular pride in:
“Mraz is one of my biggest influences because of his ability to see the best in our community and maintain an optimistic outlook for the future. I share a similar world view, focusing on writing upbeat music to spread joy. Mraz’s best songwriting quality, though, is his well-crafted lyrics, which are often sung quickly and with a “rap like” flow. I too seek to use a percussive style of singing and storytelling, which while less pronounced in “Is He Thinking of You”, was highlighted in our previous single “Vacancy Signs”.”
Even in the worst of situations, you can find a light. This isn’t to dismiss the value of embracing sadness and experiencing a full range of life’s emotions; rather, Altman’s art acts as a cathartic elevater for all to hold in times of need. This is particularly well-expressed in “Is He Thinking of You,” a song that should, could, and in any other scenario, would be sad, but instead simply isn’t!
When you can’t loosen your lips,
you just need a lighter
Tell him it’s over, and you
might feel like you’ll get a little higher
Oh I know you’re caving in
again and again and again
Do what you want, he does not
hold your heart, no more conceding
Now he’s been gone, you’re still reeling…
Is he thinking of you?
Is he thinking of you?
“We wanted to write a non-traditional break up song,” Brett Altman tells Atwood Magazine. “This song comes from a place of understanding and acceptance as opposed to anger, bitterness, or sadness directed at someone who ends a relationship. While the person ending a relationship may appear happy externally, initially there can be underlying pain and doubt that is hidden from the outside world. The narrator is me providing assurance to the female lead character that she’s making the right decision regarding her break up. This song was written several years after a long-term relationship ended, and I learned a lot from it. Just because a relationship ends doesn’t mean a former couple’s thoughts about one another do. And in case she’s reading this, yes, I was thinking about her.”
Now he’s testing your will,
you’re dying to retrieve him
Don’t seek the thrill,
emotions run wild, they can be deceiving
Oh trust your philosophy,
don’t rewind agony
No use to complete,
an act to redeem, his affection
With his sleek tenor and sunny personality, Brett Altman is making one powerful introduction. As co-creator Max Perkins suggests, honesty is key for all parts of this still-burgeoning identity. “As a former music major and full blown music history nerd, perspective means everything to me. In a world ruled by the internet, instant gratification rules everything.What have you done for me lately? It seems as though audiences and artists are at odds. Whether you’re Beyoncé or the frontwoman for a local Paramore cover band, this stuff is hard! If they say Rome wasn’t built in a day, then Beethoven’s 9th sure wasn’t written in one. My deep fear is losing that perspective. The fact of the matter is, we are bombarded with new music, new playlists, new genres, new this, new that everyday. While some artists rise to the top, how many get lost?”
He continues, “To understand where our music fits into the pop music canon, look no further than Hayley Williams… Paramore, in my undeniably biased opinion, have lead the charge of what I’ll call the “post-modern singer/songwriter ” (see, genres getting created every day). Now, without going into a deep analysis of their discography, which I would love to do, I’ll point your attention to my favorite tweet of 2017:
Paramore. 26. Does anybody realize how important that song is??? That song finds your pain and cradles it. "Hold onto hope if you got it." 🙈 https://t.co/Abrxdub8Z7
— John Mayer (@JohnMayer) June 6, 2017
“John Mayer is alluding to an honesty that we rarely get to hear these days, and I would argue that today’s culture chokes that honesty. Artists like Paramore, Kendrick Lamar, Sara Bareilles, and Chance the Rapper are a few widely respected artists that are charging ahead in this unpredictable and wildly exciting time. Unfortunately it takes time to process greatness and ultimately accept change… both Brett and I share excitement and inspiration by what we see. We believe our sound mirrors and, better yet, reflects the chaos in which the music industry and world around us currently exist. With that, I believe our listeners will find hope for the future, and encouragement to find answers within themselves.”
“Is He Thinking of You” may be just one song, but it’s reflective of an inspiring mentality and profound self-awareness that are sure to attract listeners to Brett Altman and Max Perkins’ work. Stream “Is He Thinking of You” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for more from this dynamic duo!
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📸 © Phil Silverberg art © Ellen Oh