Our Take: allie’s ‘Junior Coder’s Experiment’ EP Strives to See the Good in Existence

Junior Coder’s Experiment - allie

Our Rating

allie’s 5-track EP Junior Coder’s Experiment is a thoughtful existential commentary that induces comfort rather than anxiety.

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To say Allan Cuva is multi-talented would be a bit of an understatement. He’s part of The Pressure Kids, a raucous rock band filled with heart, and Cuva, a pop-tinged duo he started with his brother Jacob, and a sometimes-drummer for bands on the road. In the midst of these gigs and projects, Cuva quietly began making an EP of his own: Junior Coder’s Experiment, which released on March 6 under the name “allie.”

Stream: ‘Junior Coder’s Experiment‘ – allie




Junior Coder’s Experiment - allie

Junior Coder’s Experiment – allie

Unlike most music releases these days, Junior Coder’s Experiment was uploaded to the Internet immediately upon completion, without any build-up or fanfare. “While I was excited about the music, my ego was also looking for boosts of encouragement and reinforcement throughout the process, but some other part of me knew that too many outside opinions would likely complicate my self-expression,” Cuva tells Atwood Magazine, “and I was trying (and hopefully am still trying) to cut through to something more internal.”

Junior Coder’s Experiment does in fact seem to hit those internal notes, like a thoughtful existential commentary that induces comfort rather than anxiety. All five tracks are somewhat stripped down, with a way of making plain-stated truths feel intricate and new. The first song, Let Me, begins exactly that way, with Cuva singing, “I am trying to get better at telling the truth,” over careful guitar and drums. The declaration, simple and earnest, is enough to invoke a close listen for the duration.



In a natural progression, Coral begins and reads like a hopeful, open-ended dialogue, though with a darker mood and a bit of vocal distortion, then The Park, with a steady melody matching its title. The Park is partly a meditation, where Cuva takes stock of the world around him, though it may sometimes be dark, and lists some things that help him see the beauty in it: “little things like making my own bed or chatting with a stranger.”

It feels as if it’s gotten dark outside on Pocket, part low-light love song, part lament — as “nothing stays the same,” repeats until dawn comes on the title track and crux of the EP, Junior Coder’s Experiment. The idea came up when Cuva learned about philosopher Nick Bostrom’s trilemma, the Simulation Argument, which in short, argues, “we’d be rational to think that we are among simulated minds rather than biological ones.” While making the EP and after seriously considering this theory, Cuva says, “I concluded that even if my mind and subjective reality are indeed a form of computer simulation, such an insight shouldn’t actually change anything about my experience. As far as I know, this is as real as it gets, and I still only get one opportunity to live, so I want to make the most of it. I want to enjoy my life and help other people enjoy theirs, and hopefully we can share our experiences.”

I hope there’s a secret lesson in every experience
even if it’s all one junior coder’s experiment



Though it came without warning, allie’s Junior Coder’s Experiment has proven to be the best kind of surprise.

With intuition and honest dialogue, Cuva created a body of songs that sheds light on how good it can be to exist in the world in a time we need it most, and that body of songs, Junior Coder’s Experiment, is available to stream wherever you listen to music!

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Junior Coder’s Experiment - allie

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The Breakdown

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Lowndes is a writer and film photographer, currently living in South Carolina after a few years in Nashville, TN. She’s a big fan of morning news podcasts, cool-weathered city walks, and those moments when a song unexpectedly makes you feel something. These days, you can probably find her drinking cold brew and working on a book of poems, or writing articles here at Atwood.