Life at Northwestern can be fast-paced and stressful, but Medill junior Debbie-Marie Brown asks for students to slow down and enjoy this phase of life in her new EP Not Too Fast.
Not Too Fast is the third album Brown has released since starting school at Northwestern University, following Mindful Isolation and Armageddon. The album consists of one spoken poem and five songs, with a strong foundation in acoustic guitar fingerstyle patterns supporting her vocals. SESP junior Jared Zvonar produced the album.
Brown said she drew influence from her personal experiences when she wrote the tracks on this EP.
“All the songs on each album just happen to convey whatever I’m processing in my life at that time,” Brown said. “For [Not Too Fast], I was learning how to be more patient, [feeling] a strong sense of identity and being okay with spending a lot of time with myself.”
She said Northwestern’s intense academic environment inspired her to create tracks telling her listeners to go at their own pace. “By week two, you’re already sucked into the fast pace of undergrad,” said Brown. “It’s all very easy to get used to being overstimulated here, and you start to think that it’s normal.”
“Windy City, Treat Me Gently,” the fourth track on the album, has a prominent bass line that adds, as Brown describes it, a “hidden movement” to the song. She completed the songwriting process in winter quarter of her sophomore year and had the songs, with the full band parts written out, ready to record in the summer.
“I felt like I had [it] more under control … I was able to tell him what I wanted to hear from different musical parts and then test things out,” Brown said.
Brown performed her new songs at an album release show on Jan. 18. Brown said she looks forward to collaborating with more musicians on campus, recording more singles and singing at house shows.
“I love the creativity, the community, being in a room with the bass shaking the ground,” said Brown. “Why not pursue the things you love?”