metal + hardcore
pop punk + alt-rock
indie spins


Taylor Acorn Is Anything But A ‘Certified Depressant’ On New EP

Taylor Acorn 2023
[Photo by: Doltyn Snedden]

Now more than ever, we need female role models in rock music. That is, women who raise their voices onstage and off to give the next generation of artists the confidence to stay true to who they are and write songs that reflect that. The road can sometimes feel rocky, and there will always be criticism, hate comments, comparisons, and misperceptions. But it’s about turning those challenges into something honest and beautiful that will help break the glass ceiling. 

Nashville-based pop-punk songstress Taylor Acorn is cutting out the noise and writing about her journey as a female artist on her new EP, Certified Depressant. The 8-track collection of songs marks Acorn’s longest body of original work since her 2017 country EP, Put It In A Song. Yet, Certified Depressant feels like her debut all on its own. Centered around love, loss, mental health, and self-doubt, Taylor Acorn doesn’t just look in the mirror; she writes in-depth about her reflection and how it changes. Across each song, she reclaims her power through soaring vocal melodies and dynamic guitar leads that wrap around the listener like a warm blanket. It’s the record destined to inspire young listeners to pick up a guitar and learn the chord progressions to every track. 

We sat down with Taylor Acorn to discuss Certified Depressant, her first-ever headlining tour, and her advice for young girls following their dreams to become rockstars themselves.  

Read more: boygenius Try To Be “Cool About It” In New Music Video

Certified Depressant marks your first EP of original material within the pop-punk space. How does it feel to release your longest project of songs thus far, and did you set out for these songs to culminate into one collection? 

It has been seven years since I put out a project of solely my own music—I always had in the back of my mind that I wanted to put out a longer project. I didn’t know if that was an EP or an album because, being in a new genre for the last three years, I’ve been putting out singles. I’ve built a really amazing fanbase, and they’ve been asking for an album for a long time now, even when I was a country artist, and I wasn’t feeling the music I was making. I wrote “Certified Depressant,” and then we wrote “Psycho,” and we just started to spitball more songs. I just felt like they all fit together so well and I was connected enough to my music again to be able to put it into the world. It wasn’t a planned thing. It just happened that way. 

Read more: Lauran Hibberd Bluntly Declares “I suck at grieving” On New Single

Did you have an “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to switch genres from country to pop-punk? 

Honestly, it was a long time coming. Even when I started making country music, I always felt a little bit outside of the “normal country gal” in the genre. I would write with other country artists and then leave those sessions and listen to The Story So Far and Evanescence. I never felt I fit the general country artist’s mold; I look up to Hayley Williams, Amy Lee, and Avril Lavigne. That’s what I wanted out of my career, and that was how I wanted to be perceived.

I want girls to watch me and feel strong and powerful because that’s how I always felt when I listened to them or watched them play live. I was craving that. Even though I was getting to do what I love and make music, I didn’t feel like I was making music I believed in. Then, COVID hit, and the world shut down. I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I started making covers, and I think it catapulted me into the genre of music that I am so passionate about. 

Read more: We Need To Relive Lilith Fair: The All-Female Music Festival

You co-wrote “Coma” with fellow female badass Cassadee Pope. Can you tell us what that writing session was like and having her perform on the track? 

I was such a huge fan of Hey Monday in high school, and still, to this day, I’ll listen to “Homecoming” and “Josey.” “6 Months” was even the first song I ever learned to play on guitar. It’s so cool to look back on those moments and be in the same room with somebody who inspired you. She came in with the idea of “Coma,” [the track’s] title, and I could relate to it so heavily. I was in a relationship for several years, where I look back on the photos, and I don’t even know who that person was. It feels like I didn’t even exist in that time frame. So she came in with that idea, which came out so easily that we finished the song that day. Then, a few months went by, and when we put out “Coma,” the original version, it was during tour, so I think it was a little bit harder for me to push it the way I wanted to. Cassadee was actually the one who came to me and was like, “Hey, would it be cool if we did this?” And I was like, “Um, yeah,” because in my brain, I wanted to ask her to do it, but it’s Cassadee Pope! I didn’t want to overstep in any way. So when she came to me, I was relieved. I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long. She sounds amazing, and it gave “Coma” a completely new life.  

Read more: Charlotte Sands Drops Self-Love Anthem “use me,” Shares Music Video

Is there a lyric that best represents the story or themes of the EP? 

The first thing that comes to mind is, “I’m a wreck/I’m a mess.” Just because that’s the truth, I’m honestly in a much better place than I had been writing those songs, but the song “Certified Depressent” emulates who I am, my struggles, and what I’ve gone through and paints the bigger picture of what the EP is. It’s all about opening up, being human, admitting your faults, accepting them, and living life. That’s always such a fun one for me to sing because, oh my god, I feel it so much. 

As a woman in the alternative rock world, getting your name and music out there can feel daunting. Do you have any words of wisdom for fellow non-male musicians and artists who want to be where you are now? 

Just keep your head up. There will always be people who think of you in a certain light or compare you to other artists. But at the end of the day, just stay true to yourself, stay strong, and keep pushing through. I feel like once you stop giving a fuck about the noise and what everyone else thinks of you, I think that is when the most amazing things start happening. Don’t let people get to you because they’re going to try, and everybody feels like they have to have an opinion on everything that everybody does, nowadays more than ever. Just stay strong and lean into being you, especially. 

Read more: 5 Disney Princess Songs That Could Transform Into Pop-Punk Anthems

Your stripped-down covers of our favorite emo and pop-punk songs continue to take the internet by storm. Is there a song that you are dying to cover next? 

Yes, and it came after seeing the Goo Goo Dolls live. I am a huge Goo Goo Dolls fan, and I listen to them before every show. They’re my comfort, so it was really amazing to see them live. I want to cover “Name” so bad, or “Black Balloon.” I think either of those songs would be really fun to do. 

You’re going on your first headlining tour this fall! Is there a city you are most looking forward to playing? 

Honestly, I’m excited for them all. I’m an East Coast girl from North Central, PA, so I’m excited to play back home and see friends and family and stuff. But I always get excited playing Chicago and Atlanta. Atlanta crowds are great, and I think The Masquerade is probably my favorite. I love that venue in general. 

Let’s talk tour essentials. What are three things you need on the bus at all times?

I always bring my Keurig. Drinking caffeine before you sing is so bad, but I can’t go without it. I always bring my Keurig from home, and my roommate is like, “I can’t make coffee?” and I’m like, “I’m sorry, it’s gotta come.” [Laughs.] This is embarrassing, actually, but maybe there’s someone out there that can relate. I play Sims a lot, so I usually will bring my computer. It helps me pass the time, and it’s so fun. -idobi Radio

We utilize cookie technology to collect data regarding the number of visits a person has made to our site. This data is stored in aggregate form and is in no way singled out in an individual file. This information allows us to know what pages/sites are of interest to our users and what pages/sites may be of less interest. See more