LA Singer/songwriter/producer GOLDN explores complicated emotions over chilled beats on "happysad".

"I'm happiest when I'm sad," a distant voice cries out robotically over low-key trap beats on the chorus of "happysad." It's got a nice ring to it, but what does that mean? How does that work? Let's face it, sometimes the best times in life are also our most miserable. Sometimes you can be flying high and being dragged through hell, simultaneously. Like GOLDN puts it "My stairway to heaven/in the way you give me hell." Or, sometimes, we just have fond memories and feelings towards times that kind of sucked.

"happysad" seems to tell the story of a dysfunctional, drug-addled relationship. "I miss living on the couch with you/getting high off your sister's pills." There is an intimacy in these train wreck relationships, living off of the grid and outside of society. Nothing to do, nowhere to go, it would be romantic if it weren't lethal (and also terrible for your health and productivity.)

GOLDN realizes this himself, as he mentions in the song he's been sober for a minute. He seems to legitimately wish his ex-partner well, while still looking back with a certain wistfulness on that era. It's a strange feeling to miss a destructive, disastrous relationship when you're legitimately dying. Such is love, however. Such is being young.

This isn't the first time GOLDN's sung out about dysfunctional relationships. One of his earliest noteworthy singles, "Break It", told the sordid tale of falling in love with a lady rockstar who "was more of a beast than I was. If I gave her my heart, she would break it and smoke it." It's hard to say if these are the same love affair or a different one, but Goldn's music is starting to take on a narrative - life before, during, and after the freefall.



You'd have a hard time detecting the melodrama, just listening to "happysad." GOLDN's vocals are classically detached, as ever, but still warm as honey. Goldn's trademarked slo-mo trap beats are fully in effect, while lo-fi keys warble in and out like motion sickness. It's the sound of being slightly elevated, removed from something that's going on. When it's because you're intoxicated, it's not that great, but when it's with the clarity of retrospect, there's some peace to be had. We Are: The Guard hope GOLDN keeps finding his peace and kicking out smooth, honest jams like this!


J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.