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Don’t Sleep on Brett Altman and His New Single: “Eye Mask”

By Alli Dempsey | 29 March, 2024

Even though he didn’t start singing publicly until the age of 20, Brett Altman has always been a performer. His first stage was his childhood bedroom in New Jersey — mimicking the Frank Sinatra crooner tunes he used to hear his dad belt out around the house and the Broadway shows he frequented in Manhattan. In his first two years after his public debut, he skyrocketed from serenading his summer camp peers during “Rock and Roll Day” to playing for a crowd of 17,000 at his alma mater Penn State’s talent competition.

Now, as he anticipates his spring residency at NYC’s Pianos to promote his single “Eye Mask” off his upcoming second album My Way Out, the indie pop singer is ready to breach new territory — and soak up every moment of the journey.

Altman released his debut album, Not Quite Love, in 2022 — a lighthearted portrait of longing for a gentle love driven by his admiration of pop rock legends like John Mayer and Jason Mraz. My Way Out acts as a slight deviation from Altman’s softer side, etching it away to reveal a more self-assured, unapologetic version of the singer. It’s jazzy, funky and draws from modern-day Justin Timberlake’s catchy choruses — capturing his evolution as a budding, confident songwriter. 

cover art for Brett's single of him sleeping with an eye mask on
via Brett Altman Instagram (@ brettaltmanmusic)

“The whole album is really all new experimentation,” Altman said. “I'm not boxing myself into any sounds. It’s so different from anything I’ve ever done.”

“Eye Mask,” which released March 29, is the album’s fourth single. Inspired by a breakup near the end of the pandemic, Altman is fed-up with his ex-lover’s passive disinterest —  feeling like they refuse to embrace all of the parts of him. He didn’t feel welcome, like they were removing themselves from the aspects of his personality they didn’t want to see. The most ironic part — they actually wore an eye mask to bed. 

You go blind each night / When we’re lying in bed / Can’t find the light / When your sight’s been dimmed,” he sings sharply, the jaded betrayal aching through his voice. The track is electric and rapid, drawing similarities to the Weeknd’s synth-soaked 2020 smash hit “Blinding Lights.” Through the artist’s newfound boldness, his playful side still shines, finding the ridiculousness in this debacle of a breakup — “What the fuck? This cat…it keeps scratching me!”

“I think I was frustrated because I wanted to get to the other side of that,” he said regarding the resentful distance in his past relationship. “When you’re in a relationship, you want to talk to someone about an issue they have with a particular trait or a core value. It’s like, ‘How do we work through this?’”

Brett standing in the city with a night sky holding his phone
credit: Brett Altman

Despite the darker subject matter of “Eye Mask,” Altman has moved past the insecurity he felt during this breakup and put his musical energy into passionate exploration. The song’s synthy and electropop concepts were uncharted waters for the folk-fusion singer, which intimidated him. While recording the album in Nashville, his partnership with producer and friend Colin Rowe allowed him to tap into this new side. 

“In the pop-folk world, it's about the lyricism, and there's a humbleness to that,” Altman said. “I remember when we started working on [the album], I was thinking it felt like a Phineas and Billie Eilish-type collaboration and that I could never do that. I’ve been able to shed all those limiting beliefs in creating this album and these new songs, which has been a good personal growth journey.”

Moving past the heartbreak and onto the stages of NYC, Brett Altman is ready for the world to embrace him for all his outstanding parts. No eye mask — or sharp feline claws — will be able to block him out anymore. 

Make sure to grab tickets for Brett Altman’s Pianos residency on April 11 and May 10. Listen to “Eye Mask” on all streaming services now. “My Way Out” will be out in May of 2024. 


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