Jeremy Zucker & Chelsea Cutler - ‘brent ii’ Review

Story posted February 10, 2021 in

Indie-pop stars Jeremy Zucker and long time collaborator Chelsea Cutler have reunited once again for a sequel to their 2019 joint project “brent.”

“brent” became an important project for both Zucker and Cutler, containing one of their most popular duets, “you were good to me.” Since their first EP, both singers have grown a lot as artists and have since released their own debut albums.

Zucker said the pair knew they would put out a follow up to “brent” as soon as they finished it. With “brent” mainly focusing on heartache, loss and insecurity, “brent ii” has broadened the narratives while following the same structure of their first EP.

Throughout the EP’s five songs, “brent ii” tells a story about the different love that people experience and the sincerity of human connection —whether it’s friendship or relationship. Both themes can be found in Zucker and Cutler’s music.

“brent ii” opens with “this is how you fall in love,” another stunning duet by Zucker and Cutler. In contrast to their heartbreaking duet, “you were good to me,” this is a simple yet effective song about falling in love.

“this is how you fall in love” started with Zucker’s raspy voice and soft piano, and as the song progresses, the harmonies soar in the bridge with the orchestration and acoustic guitars creating a beautiful ballad that any couple can slow dance to.

In “parent song,” Zucker and Cutler explore the love between parents and their children, a theme that has been absent in pop music. The song carefully details the poignant moments of growing up while also confessing the love they have for their parents. Zucker and Cutler traded verses before blending in the chorus with another quiet but gorgeous harmony.

The last duet on the EP, “emily,” feels like the climax of a love story. “emily” could also be seen as the sequel to a song from their first EP called “please.”
Both singers are fighting for their loved ones and desperately attempting to salvage a failing relationship. The song keeps building up before it explodes in the chorus that sounds like a confessional rock ballad.

“So I’ll promise you I’ll be the best thing for us/I’ll lie to you screaming ‘I’d die for you’” Zucker sings with an ache in his voice.

The EP concludes with two solo songs, one each performed by Zucker and Cutler. Both songs are about the aftermath of heartbreak but from different perspectives. Zucker’s “brooklyn boy” displays anger and frustration, and “the stars” by Cutler is a confessional and acoustic guitar ballad about self-reflection and hope.

“brent ii” is another exceptional accomplishment for both artists. Not only does it showcase their vocal chemistry once again, but it also signifies their growth as artists and songwriters.

The pair’s ability to craft a heartbreaking story within five songs is truly a testament to their artistries, and the escapism and heart-wrenching storytelling reminisce albums like “folklore” by Taylor Swift.

Zucker and Cutler once again crafted a quiet but moving masterpiece that deserves to be heard by a bigger audience with a blanket on a cold winter night.


Rating: 8/10

Reviewers favorite songs: “emily” “this is how you fall in love”

Reviewers least favorite song: N/A


Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu is a senior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jfl5603@psu.edu