Australian songwriter and producer Aaron Lee has been making DIY alt-pop under the name AIRPORTS since 2016. Blending Weekend-esque pop production with blink-182-esque lyrical sentiments, Lee’s sound genuinely feels like a Generation Z incarnation of pop-punk… err, maybe “pop-punk pop” is a better name for it. To see what I mean, just listen to his new single “LOSER,” which dropped on October 28.
At times, “LOSER” feels as if it could be a songwriter’s demo for a new Justin Bieber track. At other times, it feels as if it could be the new direction that The 1975 could decide to go in. Sometimes it even feels like it’s bridging into A. G. Cook territory of over-saturated meta-pop. But through it all, the track effortlessly fits into Lee’s unique and imitable canon. Perhaps this is because of the inspired approach Lee takes to songcraft — as the Sydney-based artist explained to us, he only writes when he’s inspired.
“I write my best when I don’t try to force ideas to meet a quota of ‘songs written,’” Lee said. “In fact, I don’t consistently write at the moment — I just wait until the right concept, idea or lyric comes to me either in thought or from an experience. If it’s strong I work it from there on.”
With “LOSER,” Lee was inspired by the complexities of loving someone who isn’t easy to love. “Everyone has that one clown who makes them feel like a loser for loving them,” he said. “This song is a fun and sarcastic take on the ‘love bombing’ stage of a one sided relationship.”
While elements of the single might seem a little conceptually confused — like when the bridge offers listeners advice on how to “deal with bitches” — perhaps that’s what Lee is going for. By highlighting the absurdities of our commonplace cultural vernacular, Lee is able to make-new just how ridiculous it seems… all while still making music that is just pure fun.
For his part, Lee notes that he hopes listeners walk away from the song knowing that “you’re not crazy when someone attempts to make you think their crazy is your crazy.”
Listen to “LOSER” by AIRPORTS below: