My Generation: Social Meteor Shares Everyday Struggles of Gen Z and Millennials on Self-Titled Debut Album


Social Meteor's Patrick Frawley, Brad Birkle, Jordan Compton, and Paul Robison sit on an orange concrete wall.

Social Meteor explores relationships, losses, and lessons on its self-titled debut album. Photo by Kyla Preissner.

Social Meteor didn’t expect its debut album would speak for a generation—or two.

It started as a creative outlet for documenting each member’s challenges but soon evolved into a collective voice for sharing Gen Z and Millennial struggles.

“All the songs are a reflection of what our lives have been like and the struggles that we go through on a day-to-day basis living in 2023 and the past few years,” said vocalist-keyboardist Jordan Compton about the Ypsilanti indie-rock band’s new self-titled album.

“It’s honest because we didn’t intend to make some grand scheme, and we didn’t know what the theme of this album was gonna be when we picked the songs to go with it. It formed over time and reflects what it’s like to live in modern America as a younger person.”

Those reflections not only come from Compton, but also from his three Social Meteor bandmates: Paul Robison (drums, vocals), Brad Birkle (guitar, vocals), and Patrick Frawley (bass, vocals). Together, they explore relationships, losses, and lessons alongside complex emotions.

“They’re like journal entries, and it’s more of a personal approach. When we are trying to write songs, everyone writes them a little differently,” said Robison, who co-formed the group in 2019 and co-derived the band’s name from a wordplay on the term “social media.”

“The nice part about us is that we can all write songs … and something I’ve taken from them is: ‘Don’t try to pretend and be like somebody else. You can take information in from other people, but don’t fake it; try to make it real.’”

That authenticity permeates the band’s evocative lyrics and cathartic instrumentation on its self-titled album, which features a dozen tracks fused with indie-rock, alt-rock, psych-rock, jam, and post-punk elements.

Early into the album, Social Meteor spotlights its indie-rock and alt-rock sound on “King Cobra,” a reflective tale filled with medieval imagery and snake-like references about confronting a venomous person.

Armed for battle with a courageous electric guitar and synth, Birkle sings, “Gardens turning brown from poison that drips from your mouth / Juxtaposed, ready to strike, you deal in lines for spite / On slain you feed / And all the faces you lead are draped in deceit.”

“That was a King Gizzard-inspired song, and I wanted the title to reflect a deadlier snake, like one that spits in your face,” said Birkle, who wrote the track. “The ‘King Cobra’ is about dealing with a toxic person, and the whole outro of the song is about getting away from this person.”

After escaping a poisonous person, the band enters the psych-rock world of “A Conundrum,” a somber story of losing a parent and coping with grief. Mournful electric guitar echoes Frawley’s heartache as he sings, “Is she gonna be fine? Did you stay up all night? Are you sure doctor?”

“That one was kind of inspired by my mom’s passing, and the ending part is about carrying on loving somebody regardless of the fact that they’re gone,” said Compton, who composed the Pink Floyd-esque song. “That’s all we can do is focus on the fact that they live in your heart—it’s kind of sappy, but it’s all that you’ve got.”

Social Meteor also laments the passage of time and everyday adult problems on the alt-rock jam “Getting Older.” Frawley highlights the emotional roller-coaster of aging as he sings, “Can’t understand the kid’s homework / Making dinner and being a jerk / And I told her / I told her we’d never end up scared.”

“It’s in a similar mindset for Patrick, and it’s dealing with all of the stuff that life throws at you,” said Birkle about the Frawley-penned track. “He’s had a good deal thrown at him recently, and he’s dealing with parents and relationships.”

Finally, the band shifts from the real world to screen life on “Social Media,” a cautionary alt-rock track about seeking immediate gratification on popular social networking platforms.

Alongside pounding drums, Robison sings, “And the screen consumes your soul, your mind has lost control / Info overload, eyes covered in wool / Free to take its toll, all you do is scroll / Mirror life lived through a camera lens.”

“It’s deceptively pretty, and it has this yin and yang of [being] sugar-coated, but it’s a cry for help,” said Robison, who wrote the track.

“Social media is draining our ability to perceive dopamine from things that are long-term rewards with these instant little hits. There’s also this descent that you feel with your mental health while being on social media so much.”

To bring “Social Media” and the band’s other 11 tracks to life, Social Meteor spent 18 months working on the album with Ypsilanti producer / 310AM’s Nate Erickson in his home studio.

“With Nate, we demoed 16 tracks originally that we selected. We were like, ‘All right guys, we want to put an album together, so, everyone, pick some tracks,’” said Compton, who notes the band’s influences range from Led Zeppelin to Devo to King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard.

“We recorded a version of each of those 16 tracks, got them all in the [digital audio workstation], listened to them, and then we cut them down to 12. Then we went back and re-recorded everything from scratch, so we kind of recorded this album twice.”

Throughout the recording process, Erickson helped the band approach their playing from different technical perspectives. Whether using thin or thick guitar picks, changing snare drums, or adding other instruments, he wanted to capture the emotive quality of the band’s songs.

“Nate had these emotional ideas and senses of imagery to [help us] get the emotion of the song out and to try to make that the focus,” Birkle said. “He’s like, ‘Think of whatever space this needs to be in. Who are you delivering this to?’ That mindset while recording … has been accented further by Nate.”

Social Meteor will also bring that emotional mindset to the stage on July 22 during an album release show. The band will perform with Boy N’ Ties and Lanternfly at The Lexington Bar in Detroit.

After the show, the band plans to revisit the tracks that didn’t make the album and write new material for a future release.

“We’ve been writing some stuff; Paul has recorded a lot of demos, and he’s been inspired by learning the recording process,” Birkle said. “I have a handful of songs, and Jordan has some ideas, too. We’re just trying to refine this stuff the best and make it a diamond.”

Lori Stratton is a library technician, writer for Pulp, and writer and editor of

Social Meteor performs July 22 at The Lexington Bar, 5063 Trumbull Ave. in Detroit, with Boys N’ Ties and Lantern Fly.