Mellowood: Cotton Candy Skies

Paige Ashton, Staff Writer

On September 14th, 2019, Mitty’s very own Mellowood released their debut album Cotton Candy Skies. Over the past year and a half, Trent Lawson and Luca Filiz have spent countless hours in the studio writing, creating, and producing; and in a recent interview, shared their stories on how this album came to be.

The creation of their album dates all the way back to their sophomore year. Pulling inspiration from the story behind the name of the band Brockhampton, the boys took “Mellowood,” both the name of Luca’s street and the home of their studio, as their own. 

The two had long since dreamed of creating music, so they began collaborating on how to put their dreams into action. The piano track used in their song “Intro” was created in the fall of 2017. Later, when they came up with their first song, the support they received from their friends helped encourage them to continue making music together.

Inspired by how Bay Area sunsets are often characterized by signature fluffy clouds dotting a purple and pink colored sky, the name Cotton Candy Skies was born. Luca describes this as a “beautiful complexity:” natural wonders combining to create a mesmerizing image that is ultimately more than one can ever understand. For many, the sky is an escape,  somewhere to look to when one wants to get away from the rest of the world. It is this mindset that Lawson and Filiz hope to emulate in their album. 

They intentionally organize songs one through eleven in order to tell a story. Beginning with “Intro,” the album introduces listeners to the idea of being lost within your emotions. With a majority of the production having taken place during their junior year, the album’s structure reflects the rollercoaster of emotions that accompany that time. Understanding how difficult a process high school can be, the fifth song, “Awk,” provides a break to the gravitas of the tracks so far. With a raw, unedited feel, “Awk” gives listeners a view into the more authentic Mellowood, showing them how, as Trent says, “life is awkward sometimes.” The presence of this song adds balance to the album, and helps round out the experience of a full listen through. Mellowood wants to share a relatable story of how to express your feelings, accept your emotions, and realize that, as the final song says, “maybe I’ll be okay.”

This album, like many musical successes, was not a solo effort. Features from Mitty students Leah Lopez, John Lee, and James Vaughn, production support from Orange Label Records, Kingdom Voice a Productions, and Mitty alums Chris Emond and Max Slade, help from album art designer Miles Lawson and design marketing head Bradley Caldwell, and the countless others who extended their support to Mellowood, all helped create the album for what it is today. Without their help, Mellowood’s album wouldn’t be the same. 

One of the unique aspects of Cotton Candy Skies is how they have created a story that addresses struggle, but also helps resolve it. Songs like “Freddie Mercury” and “Second Chances” show how no one really suffers alone. “Even with all the pain and pressures you may feel, you cannot allow yourself to run away from your problems, because in doing that, you turn your back on opportunity,” Luca explains. Trent echoes this, saying that, “Life can be scary, but remember, the people that change the world are the ones that are crazy enough to do something about it. It is up to you to pursue your goals. Do not just be a dreamer, be a doer.” This is the message that Mellowood hopes their album will spread. In their goal to inspire others, they hope to continue to make people feel and make them do. So in the spirit of Mellowood, go make your dreams into actions — it is now or never.

Make sure you check out Mellowood’s amazing album Cotton Candy Skies, out now on all platforms.