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With His Debut Full-Length, Zander Hawley Is Just Trying to Live

Listen to his first full-length 'When I Get Blue' now, whether or not you're blue.
Photo by Tyler Squires

On his first full-length release, 19-year-old LA-born folk singer Zander Hawley is coming clean about his breakup. He's neither the first nor last man in Nashville to write about heartbreak and moving on, but what makes Hawley stand out from contemporaries isn't how his music sounds—soft, folksy, the epitome of singer/songwriter—it's how acutely self-aware it is. Within the 10 tracks that make up When I Get Blue, Hawley maps the personal fall out of a relationship with an even hand. But at the same time, the 19-year-old shows his age.


"When it comes to music/Everyone's so rude/Jealous of anyone who's gaining ground/and I'll admit that I'm the same" Hawley sings on "At My Age," addressing the hypocrisies that come with being an artist and having a vision that other people want to control or hate you for, for whatever reason. "You'll make it or you won't, and then you'll die" he sings later, a quasi-self-deprecating motto. This isn't Hawley's first foray into the music scene—he partnered with Amandla Stenberg in 2015, and the two released music under the moniker of Honeywater for a few years—but it is his first time doing it on his own, and he lays out how tough it is to straddle the line between taking all the credit for yourself or none at all.

Throughout the album, Hawley honestly depicts finding yourself in a series of situations you couldn't prepare for, and all the self-doubt, anger, and joy that comes with. You can listen to the album below.