Single Review: State Champs - 'Crystal Ball'

Pop punkers State Champs drop new single ‘Crystal Ball’ in anticipation of their upcoming album ‘Living Proof’, set to be released on June 15 via Pure Noise Records.

This is not your typical pop-punk song about trying to get out of your hometown and how much you hate it. In fact, State Champs are experimenting around with the fringes of the genre in their latest single, ‘Crystal Ball’, and the single displays a maturity to the band’s sound that comes with age and experience. Singer Derek Discanio says, “Musically, we tried some new things and thought outside of the box to bring a catchy, yet technical dynamic to [State] Champs which we are very excited about.” Long-time fans will hear hints of debut album ‘The Finer Things’, which does not come as too much of a surprising as the band headed back to their roots in Albany, New York for the writing process of the new record.

Speaking about the meaning of the single, Discanio explains, “Crystal Ball is a song about personal investment of time and effort while questioning the outcome and worth of it all. Everyone has to find their own way to seize the moment and stay on their path.” It’s a feeling of questioning, uncertainty and contemplation that most people will have experienced at some point in their life, and lyrics such as ‘I can’t fight this disconnection’ will resonate with a lot of listeners. Yet despite this pondering, there is an underlying positive note, with the lyric ‘At least I’ll never be ungrateful’.

Packed full of quirky riffs that show off the technical proficiency of the band, ‘Crystal Ball’ is sure to be one of the songs to gear you up for sunnier days. A massive chorus will have you singing along, as the upbeat drumming and dynamic bass line perfectly captures the free, adventurous spirit associated with summer. Discanio’s vocals soar in the bridge, and the guitar complements it with a delicate countermelody, striking a perfect balance.

Crystal Ball’ is a lively single, perfect for air guitar play-alongs, and it cements the band’s reputation as one of the forerunners of pop punk. The band takes on a youthful spirit, and as we eagerly await ‘Living Proof’, we will be hitting the repeat button for this track.

Words by Athena Kam