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When a first love burns out, it can be difficult to pick up the pieces. Your heart lays swollen, yet jagged, on the floor.

One of the first songs he ever wrote, Brian Falduto’s “Just a Phase” wonders back to his college days, as he reflects on an old boyfriend with whom he came out of the closet. But he “struggled with getting the production just right,” he says, so he left it on the shelf – until now. With producer Brett Castro, the song is now “fully realized.”

Beneath its shiny veneer, Falduto lets the emotion pour forth as though from a fountain. His voice sweeps from a thunderous bellow to a delicate falsetto, an impressive, evocative performance that sells every single lyric with torrential force. “I’m here wasting hours still singing about you / I’m here totally aware and okay that we’re through,” he sings. “Healing mistakes, sometime when love is true.”

Falduto bulldozes the listener. When given further context to the song, its intent comes into sharp, blinding focus. “The way he responded to our relationship ending felt invalidating to how I experienced it emotionally,” he explains. “I even began questioning the queer awakening we shared because of his gaslighting behavior afterward. The track still captures the 2000s country elements of my debut album ‘Gay Country’ that I loved, while giving it some modern touches.”

“You know the moon never actually changes, we just take what we can see and we call it phases,” he sings in the final lines. It seems appropriate then that the song releases (officially tomorrow) ahead of the full moon this Saturday night.

Falduto, famous for his role as Billy in School of Rock, which turns 20 years old, released his debut Gay Country earlier this year.

Listen to “Just a Phase” below.

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