Following the release of their critically acclaimed sophomore album, Under My Influence, indie group The Aces return with the release of “Don’t Freak,” out now via Red Bull Records.
Released in time with the start of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, “Don’t Freak” is a vibrant, dance-pop record on its surface, but its poignant lyricism tells a deeper story. A pointed critique of the stigma around mental health, lead singer Cristal Ramirez found inspiration in her own experiences with anxiety-induced panic attacks. Driven by an energetic rush of guitar riffs and percussion, “Don’t Freak” tackles the personal subject matter in signature Aces’ fashion, artfully examining the frenetic feeling of struggling with anxiety in a society where mental health issues are often met with a lack of understanding.
“I’ve struggled with severe anxiety for my entire life, and this year started having intense panic attacks,” says Ramirez. “When you struggle with your mental health, you start to realize very quickly just how little space is held for you in society. You quickly feel like a burden to those around you and end up thinking, ‘why can’t I just get my shit together,’ constantly. In a time where all you need is patience and understanding, you’re made to feel alienated and inadequate, which in turn makes your mental state so much worse. That’s how ‘Don’t Freak’ came to life. We wanted to put this very real story into our music. Mental health issues are something everyone goes through, and not only do we need to be talking more about it, but we need to be holding space for it.”
The release of “Don’t Freak” also comes with the band’s appearance on Exposure, Hulu’s new mobile photography competition series, created in partnership with Hulu’s Greenhouse, Samsung, and BBH Entertainment and produced by Westbrook Media, which also serves as the studio on the project. Serving as a featured guest on the second episode of the series, also titled “Don’t Freak,” streaming Monday, May 3, contestants will be tasked with using the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G to capture the essence of The Aces in two dramatic challenges, with the winner shooting the official “Don’t Freak” single artwork. Guest-starring famed music photographer Matty Vogel, the episode will also include a special performance of “Don’t Freak” and The Aces’ hit single “Daydream.”