When it comes to heartbreak, most will spin in circles wondering what went wrong and what could've been done differently. And while Overcoats' Used To Be Scared Of The Dark asks questions like this as well, it's an EP that also explores the complexities of romance, the messiness of these deep-set feelings and, most importantly, the bittersweet beauty of healing.
Through folk-tinged songs about trying to make it work, being unsure how to move forward and acknowledging the uncomfortable feelings that come with the fallout, the band's Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell give us a masterclass in vulnerable songwriting that touches on themes of self-growth, stability and acknowledging your emotions.
So in honor of Used To Be Scared Of The Dark's release, Overcoats gave PAPER a track-by-track breakdown of each song and the meaning behind it, because if there's one thing we know, it's that a good, cathartic cry fixes everything.
"Wait For Me Darling"
"Wait For Me Darling" is about being far from home and the one you love, both physically and mentally. It's about the touring lifestyle, or making a mistake and letting someone go. It's about asking that person to wait for you while you get your shit together and also while you follow your dreams of being a musician. Ryan Hahn really brought some Local Natives flavor in the guitar sounds and the production, and it made the song come to life. We also love that he's singing on it!
"Blame It On Me"
"Blame It on Me" was written in the era of writing for The Fight, and it's a continuation of those themes. It's about feeling stuck in a relationship or situation that you don't have the strength to leave -- or just really want to make work. There are sounds of kids playing in the background to symbolize the innocence and purity you thought love had, before you realized it was complicated, messy, and sometimes a little dark. Lawrence Rothman's deep voice sounds so amazing on this track and really makes the song feel like a conversation between a couple in a really magical way.
"The Hardest Part"
This song is about coming to terms with a relationship being over. And the hard reality that you may never know where that person ends up or what they do. It's about letting go. We brought this song to Tennis, because it needed their nostalgic retro-pop sound to help tell this story. And it needed to be cooler. Alaina's sultry vocals tickle the ears throughout the track, and the signature Tennis guitar sounds soothe along the lyrically heavy journey.
"Used to Be Scared of the Dark"
Ughhhh…Hannah Joy's voice on this track. We knew we needed three-part harmony on this one. And when we heard Hannah sing on it, we got goose bumps. We've loved Middle Kids for so long and to have them help us transform this acoustic song into a rock song was perfect. The song, at its core, is a folk ballad that feels true to the ages, a tale of growing away from someone and singing your strength until it becomes real.
Photo courtesy of Aysia Marotta