Usually associated with the fleeting status of young love and and sepia-filtered high school summers, there is something intoxicating about sadcore Americana. Lucie Lozinski, who performs as Ski Team, dabbles in this genre on her latest track “Photos,” combining traditional folk and rock elements with a modern twist. The song works as a spoken letter to her former partner that incorporates themes of closure and change. A way of processing what she experienced, the track is elegantly simplistic so as to commune directly with the listener, encouraging her fans to reflect on their own experiences.
Coming from a family of a professional musicians, writing music has always served as an outlet for Lozinski; she’s been writing what she describes as “embarrassing songs” since the age of five. Her brother Ian had started creating music under the moniker Snacks Chapman, and when the pair started collaborating in their parents’ garage in New Jersey Ski Team was born. “I was like we could make a band and ‘ski’ would be the name because it’s two Lozinski’s together,” she explains. “My last name is kind of intimidating.”
Though Ian’s focus was on his own project, Lozinski continued Ski Team undeterred, making space for her to collaborate with others. She’s released a few singles so far, including a heartfelt tribute to her sibling, “Brother,” pleading ballad “Don’t Give Up (Yet),” and the tongue-in-cheek “Knicks Suck.”
The latest addition to her catalogue, “Photos” feels inherently raw and direct. Lozinski communicates a melancholic feeling with sparse acoustic guitar to create a feeling of space. Rightly taking center stage is Lozinski’s somber, crystalline vocal lilt; Lozinski purposefully kept the track void of other elements so as to retain that emotional vulnerability she was experiencing. “Every time you add stuff it turns kind of cognitive and less emotional,” she explains. “I went to add some sticks on it and just some gentle build or gentle recede, but it felt like it was taking away from that [emotion].”
Lozinski taps into the intimacy of performing with others around a campfire. “We’re not used to being in a room full of synths with a giant band that’s well produced – we’ve never had a campfire like that,” she jokes, addressing the track’s lo-fi appeal.
In the song, Lozinski narrates an attempt to put away mementos of old flame, stymied by her nostalgia for the good times depicted in snapshots she can’t let go of. She makes excuses: “I tried to include them in a letter/But the envelope was too small,” she sings, knowing it’s the relationship, not the photos, she’s unwilling to release. Throughout the track there is a repetition of this idea that she needs to move on, and each time counters this with the line “But it’s hard to look away,” in effect highlighting the strength of the emotions tying her to the person that she loves as she attempts to disentangle herself from them, mind, body and soul.
Like a message in a bottle, the song encapsulates both the history of the relationship and Lozinski’s writing process. “It just sort of happened. It was there and I wanted to get it out of my brain,” she says, adding that her songs are “like little vials inside of my body that are full and once they’re full I’ve gotta get them out. [‘Photos’] was a particular, potent experience of moving across country in his shadow, and I’m excited to pass that.”
As a tool for expression, songwriting has helped Lozinski take stock of the effect of her memories and experiences that at the time she doesn’t truly register. “I won’t consciously know how I’m feeling about a thing until I’m like ‘Oh I really have the itch to write this song down today’… and then I’m like ‘Oh this doesn’t look like a great situation! turns out I’m actually very disappointed about this thing that happened a year ago,’” she says.
Lozinski plans to continue releasing her work one single at time, saying, “It’s given me time to polish up the next one.” She’s also planning to record another version of “Photos” with the intention of releasing it in October.
Ultimately “Photos” is a tale of change and the resulting loss we all fear, because it means the outcome is unknown and therefore out of our control. For Lozinski, the track gives voice to the emotions she was processing, but she opens the door to allow for individual reflection based on the listener’s own experiences and apprehension towards change, regardless of whether it’s tied to a relationship.