WHEN IT’S ALL OVER – Cam Kahin’s Coming Of Age EP

April 3, 2023

I love coming of age movies. They’re fun. They make me feel seen and there’s so much life to explore even in the seemingly mundane. Like YA fiction, they represent something familiar. They document the different ways we navigate(d) our teenage years and the slow transformation to adulthood. Coming of age media made me feel less alone and isolated. I revisit them even now because they still do. Art has always been a mirror to life and so coming of age themes tend to reflect the times we exist in. The craft of storytelling through creative mediums highlights the importance of coming to terms with self. This is exemplified in 21 year old Cam Kahin’s latest EP WHEN IT’S ALL OVERSet for an April 6th release, the  project, Kahin says, ‘is a depression-fueled coming-of-age story.’ Over 6 tracks, Kahin explores themes of loneliness, nihilism, addiction and self destructive habits as parts of the journey to self. 

On the opening track Compass Kahin seeks direction and guidance through difficult times. There’s a self-awareness  of the destructive habits that he needs to stop. ‘Cos it’s gonna be a long day /  And I need something to get me through / Don’t know if I’m going the wrong way/ Can’t you be my compass baby’.  A very personal and heavy subject, the track moves between quiet guitar strums and an explosive tempo encouraging release and movement. You just have to let it all out.  Cam Kahin’s voice is so specific and he does well to carry the intention of his songs through his delivery. This balance between vulnerability and expression works well with the sounds of this EP. He leans into the teenage angst that birthed the lyrics expressing his feelings against the guttural sounds and synths on What are you waiting for and BirdsBirds in particular is a stand out track, with lyrics like ‘I know how it feels when the drugs stop working / sweat all on your clothes and the birds start chirping.’ The sounds of this EP are haunting and exciting, a playlist of one man’s coming of age. 

What’s so exciting about Kahin is his willingness to explore such dark matter intimately while still calling to mind how vast the sounds of alt music are. Kahin describes his sound as ‘angsty unpredictable alt-rock’ a perfect description for the alt genres he traverses including indie and punk rock. His EP is testament to his ability to create head-banging music that leans softly into the light at the end of the tunnel. He unpacks what it means to be alive and how we function with the knowledge that life eventually progresses beyond what it is. 

Cam Kahin wrote some of these songs at 17. At 17, Kahin, like the rest of the world, was under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. A 2020 summer survey by Young Minds noted 87% of participants felt lonely and isolated. 80% indicated an impact on their mental health with numbers rising from a previous survey conducted months earlier in March, a year after the official lockdown. Across the 2 years of the pandemic, a number of pandemic projects have been dropped, documenting life in lockdown. In this space. Cam Kahin does well to engage his feelings, creating an exciting record that occupies a space that fits both the past and the present. Fresh off a recent tour with Ruby Waters,  Cam Kahin is set to perform at his first headline show on April 14th and next month will take the stage at The Great Escape in Brighton.

Photo credit: Fabiana Moreira