By Cynthia Gross
This Alchemical Records article is read by the author to provide a multimedia experience for our audience while increasing the accessibility of our content to persons with hearing loss, low vision, dyslexia, physical or motor disabilities, or are on the autism spectrum.
With his recent single, “Look At Me Now,” Nashville-based pop and R&B artist Austin Markham delivers an intensely personal, widely applicable self-empowerment anthem that leaves audiences ready to face whatever challenges that come their way.
“It was scary writing from a place of true vulnerability,” notes Markham. “All of these songs were birthed out of conversation. We started each write with an intentional conversation, and that conversation guided our writing.”
“Look At Me Now” explores themes of loss, doubt, pain, faith, and ultimately, growth. The heartfelt track is the lead single from Markham’s debut EP, Me. Markham has found just the right balance in storytelling to share his experiences – from people who “Told me they love me, but didn’t care enough to see/That I just needed family before I knew what to believe” to “People who tried to label me and tell me who I couldn’t be.”
“This EP is the start of my story, something so personal and true to who I am and what I stand for,” explains Markham. “This is the first time I have shared my feelings about growing up without a father, the first time I have boldly said, ‘look at me now,’ and the first for so many things.”
The maturity in Markham’s writing when reflecting on such difficult subject matter suggests that he continues to find peace with his past and has reclaimed his self-worth outside of the scrutiny of others. “Look at me, look at me, look at me now/What you could’ve had and what you missed out on,” he sings confidently to all the naysayers in the song’s powerful chorus.
Fans of Justin Bieber and early James Bay will feel at home with Austin Markham’s authentic sound, depth of perspective, and polished style. There is not one “skip” on Markham’s EP, Me. Each song leaves listeners encouraged, uplifted, and stronger than ever.
Markham explores his roots growing up in the church within a broken home in “Look At Me Now,” including the lack of support he received from a faith community supposedly committed to love and acceptance. “Yeah, people in the church, they couldn’t help with my identity/And if I’m being honest, they didn’t know what to do with me,” he sings.
As you journey through the song, it becomes resoundingly clear that Markham is still a believer, not necessarily in the traditional sense, but more importantly, in himself. He is a believer in overcoming obstacles and emerging stronger at the other end. He is a believer in coming to terms with scars as part of the growth process that add color and texture to each individual’s story.
Perhaps the most important takeaway from the song is that if Austin Markham can make it despite the odds, you can, too. There’s no doubt in his mind. “Look At Me Now” is such a strong debut from an incredible talent who is an undeniable rising star.
“I hope listeners take away a little courage every time they listen to these songs,” says Markham. “Courage to find themselves and to then be themselves.”
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Cynthia Gross is a freelance writer and award-winning spiritual pop artist based in Maryland. With more than a decade of experience as an executive ghostwriter, she understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.
When D.C. venues were ready to reopen after COVID-19, indie pop duo GLOSSER was ready to perform. The two, Riley Fanning and Corbin Sheehan, formed the band pre-COVID out of a shared aesthetic vision and passion for music storytelling.
Their first album *DOWNER* was released in January 2023, however they have decided to release a [__deluxe version__](https://open.spotify.com/album/0KLORhtj3ohV4FtbdjoKu5?si=iNZX9fiZSm2M6V8pRdBkow) exactly one year later containing four new tracks – two remixes, a reimagined song, and a cover – that they are hoping will give it a second life and allow them to continue performing around the area.
The band explains that they have spent many shows opening for touring bands that traveled through D.C. “We made music and then venues started to open again,” Sheehan says. Rather than having the “typical grungy” D.C. band experience, they uniquely went straight to club shows.