Updated: May 5, 2021
by Mike Scarfo
The multi-talented H3x was a staple in the Massachusetts indie music scene, particularly known for his bold, textured hip-hop/pop melodies and captivating cadences. In addition, he is an immaculate sound engineer, and the host of our Mixing Tips with H3x series. H3x has recently taken his talents down to Austin, Texas, relocating there for the time being. But other than location, not much has changed for him creatively, as he teams up with North Shore, MA artist CRONIN, a duo who’ve frequently collaborated over the years. Their first release of 2021, “Weight”, is the lead single off H3x’s upcoming EP, and once again the two deliver an indie pop smash paired with eccentrically engaging visuals.
Sonically, “Weight” blends acoustic guitar loops and a melodic drum progression, an emotional sound that has become synonymous with national acts such as The Kid Laroi and Post Malone. Yet, both H3x and CRONIN elevate this “sad boy” style with their focused, relatable songwriting, en route to one of the catchiest songs in either of their discographies.
H3x creates the narrative of a hypothetical relationship that appears stable on the surface, but in reality is toxic and unhealthy. There’s a sense of deep influence from the narrator’s peers to keep the relationship going, as H3x emphasizes his passiveness to end it despite knowing it would be best for him in the long run. His raspy, emotive vocals convey an urgency to move forward and leave this person, yet once he finally does, he’s unable to convey how much this person has destroyed his identity to others in his life. This leads them, and himself, to believe it was his fault for the relationship’s downfall, as the toxic partner is put on an undeserving pedestal. H3x emphatically describes even crawling back to this person from time to time: "it's my fault, when you call and I answer babe / and my wall's break down from the weight of this". H3x metaphorically portrays an inability to prevent her from re-entering his life, as he attempts to find the strength to stand up for himself through the weight of pain he's endured by her actions. CRONIN’s memorable hook captures the theme of the song perfectly, highlighting that the “weight on [his] shoulders” has the potential to be his undoing. CRONIN also alludes to feelings of isolation following the break-up, and being “down in [his] downtime”, unable to find fulfillment in hobbies or passions.
The music video’s aesthetic, directed and edited by Jasmine Quinones with additional visuals by Keri Cronan, is surprisingly colorful in contrast, capturing tones of innocence and feelings of hope. Visually, there’s a beautiful element of freedom that’s simultaneously juxtaposed by painful isolation in the aftermath of each guy’s break-up.
The cake at the beginning of the video, which simply reads “we’re done”, metaphorically represents how blinding heartbreak can be as their faces are humorously smashed into it. However, throughout the video H3x and CRONIN start to appreciate joyful moments together, such as tossing a football and playing mini golf. Even if these activities seem miniscule, they quickly realize they are not as alone as they may have previously thought. The music video achieves the idea that even in heartbreak and impeding isolation, it’s important to stay true to yourself, emphasizing that you have the authority over your own happiness, and not to put it in the hands of others.
“Weight” contains a purposeful message regarding the dangers of complacency and relapsing into toxicity. The longer we suffer in denial hoping that a destructive situation will change, we surrender autonomy over our own lives, consequently jeopardizing our ability to make the necessary decisions that will impact us in a positive manner. “Weight” is relatable and profoundly layered, as H3x and CRONIN prove they are a creative force to be reckoned with.
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