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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "WHEN MY BREATHING SLOWS" - Riley Lynch x Ron Geffen

"WHEN MY BREATHING SLOWS," the fiery collaboration between LA artists Riley Lynch and Ron Geffen, brings feeling to the forefront and allows its brutal heat speak for itself. The rolling drums blast through with booming clarity in every moment, casting the dread and panic in stark shadow. Underneath the explosive percussion and sharp lyricism, bass sizzles like a lit fuse. Guitars crack open the chorus, releasing every once of pain and passion in a fast and catchy hook. The two artists perfectly mesh in this glorious pop-rock display, pulling from grunge and punk of the 2000's and early 2010's. It's stadium-sized sound perfectly serves as an anthem for those who feel like they have nothing more to give. In a way, it's an exorcism: hope burns, bodies fly, and the feelings we fight to keep inside are purged. Recent memory has approached mental health from a more reflective route, but what it's missing is what makes "WHEN MY BREATHING SLOWS" so impactful. What if you aren't okay right now? Lynch and Geffen's collaboration is notable not only for its incredible songwriting, performance, and production, but also as a sort of return to form for the genre: a present tense.

The first verse sets the scene. "The second my alarm goes off, my chest begins to tighten," reads the opening line, but its the delivery that makes the verse so notable. Each line chains together, a seemingly insurmountable gauntlet of grievances. "I'm terrified that I won't find my stride until the day I die," perfectly encapsulates the acute dread of never feeling truly better. "WHEN MY BREATHING STOPS" is chock-full of these striking expressions condensed into punchy one-liners ("Feel like I can't form one coherent sentence when I go up to the counter to pick up my new prescription," reads the song's most vivid scene). Exhaustion finally catches up with them in the bridge, where the song's title is repeated to remark on how these present feelings will appear upon reflection. If this pain is a part of our story, how will we feel when the book closes?

"WHEN MY BREATHING STOPS" is not the first collaboration between Riley Lynch and Ron Geffen. Back in September of 2022, the two released the single "ICARUS." Riley Lynch's discography holds many punk gems with catchy hooks and booming production. Many songs, like "I WISH," dissolve the borders of genre as they incorporate a variety of flavors, such as electronic and acoustic. Ron Geffen has made a name for many pop-rock collaborations recently. Both artists, based in LA, prove that the underground scene of music is as talented, inspired, and valuable as ever.

Written By Andy Mockbee




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