Genre: Bedroom Pop/ Alternative R&B
I don’t know where I read this or who told it to me, but someone somewhere said that if you are just starting out and can’t secure blog reviews and interviews, just write about your own songs. Plain and simple. Write down your own take on things and have an article out there that people can easily access, after which they can make up their own mind. So here I am, after launching a blog to support other up-and-coming musicians, I am writing about my debut EP titled “Steps” because it came out today.
I have decided to release 4 songs as singles as well, because releasing more often is better for the Spotify algorithm, however today I will write about them in the order they are on the EP and not the order in which they were released.
“Will you let me in?” is the first song, a tiny 1min15sec long intro tune that encompasses some of the main themes of all six tracks. It talks about the passing of time and the inability to stop it, leaving toxic people behind, walking away and working towards what is important, step by step until you get to the door that leads to your dreams. In my head, me beginning to release music and taking it more seriously during this past year and a half was a huge step for my career, and every single song got me closer and closer to this moment. While releasing this EP I am symbolically knocking on the door of the industry so to speak, because these are my most polished and important songs so far. I am knocking on the door and waiting to see when they will let me in.
1 step 2 step 3 step 4
I'm standing right here, knocking on the door
Will you let me in?
Will you let me in?
The next song is “Better on your worst nights” and it is about a relationship at its breaking point. The two parties don’t understand each other anymore but still don’t have the courage to take the first step in letting go. It has been going on for so long, how can it just end like that? The question is heartbreaking, but the only healthy choice is to walk away. After all, lately they only feel good when the other one doesn’t. This is my go to explanation when someone asks what is it about. I tend to write songs very visually, I already see a movie or a music video in my head in the writing session (I really hope I can film them sometime in the near future because I already have elaborate shot lists and everything lol) so it is sometimes hard for me to explain the entire world behind my songs in a couple of words, but I also believe that every track is up to the listener to interpret and a lot of the times I don’t even want to explain in too much detail what I was thinking about, just so each individual can project their own experiences onto them.
I remember you were funnier
Back when the days were sunnier
These days all I do is sending warnings
Wind blew away our house of cards
And you didn't leave any marks
Don't be shocked when you won't find me in the morning
“Always drunk” is based on a Charles Baudelaire writing titled Be Drunk. It tackles existential questions while suggesting that in order to get through the hardships of life, you have to be always drunk. The inability to cope in a healthy way with things that are out of our control is at the centre of this production. It’s sad, it’s desperate, the character can’t accept things even if they know that they can’t change the facts. (By the way, when I talk about characters, I mean the main characters who the songs are about or from whose perspective they are written). Anxiety is bad, especially when it is because of things that I can’t change. I know that it’s no use, but still, I can’t deal with it in a healthy way sometimes. Always drunk was written while some tears were shed, it initially wasn’t meant to be on this EP, wasn’t even written for this instrumental, but after hearing it I knew that they we’re meant to be together, so the melodies and lyrics were altered to fit the whole.
Everyone's talking but no one knows what about
The ones who are silent at times tend to act out
The burden of time bends you down to the ground
Kneeling and screaming but I don't make a sound
The first song that I released as a single was Pills. Obviously the main single is the title song and I knew that from the start, but the first song I wrote for Jorge was Pills so naturally I decided to release it first as well. I loved it so much and it felt so current that I thought it would be the most successful one out of all. That didn’t happen (yet?), this shows that our perception of what people would like more is very different from reality. It tackles the attempt to take life day by day and live in the present, experiencing every moment before they are gone, but restricted by pills that cloud the mind. Want to know what I was really thinking about with the lyrics? Okay I will tell you but you might be a bit surprised. I know that everyone else is thinking about more serious drugs, but I was writing it with lavender pills in mind. Yes, lavender pills. The first lockdown was a bit stressful next to the overall stress of having no idea what to do with my life (not going back to uni, no job, lockdown making it even harder to get a job etc…) so I was taking lavender pills to help me relax and even fall asleep. Because I couldn’t, no matter how much I worked during the day and how tired I was.
So it was a small play on words, taking pills to fall asleep but adding the existential layer with “but I don’t want to go to sleep”, you know? Anyways, if it is about other drugs for you, it is fine.
Snippets of a life go by
We are so scared to say goodbye
Always running against time
“Are we?” is the most successful song so far. I released it as the third single and I am happy that people love it as much as I do. It is finally a happy song, haha! I don’t know if you noticed but I tried to order them in a way that suggests progress, an emotional one, so they go from angry and sad to happy by the end of the EP. This track captures the moment of a relationship coming to life, when the two parties become “official”. It is often because of the curiosity of a friend or family member that the question arises. Are we together or not? Not putting labels on the relationship is good enough for the couple, but the outside world’s curiosity leads them to confront the idea and clear it up.
I know that you know
You had me 'round your finger from the get go
And you know that I know
I'm somebody that you can not let go
And finally, we arrived to the title track that has an extra (1, 2, 3, 4) in the title. The main characters live in the outskirts, every day just peeking in to get a glimpse of what might be waiting for them on the other side. Step by step they are working towards reaching the door that leads to their dreams, while helping each other in the process. It is a love song, it is a statement of the current place in my life, it is a personal manifesto. I love Steps. It was probably the most fun song to write. I was dancing and jumping around to the first demo that I recorded in only a couple of hours. I wrote it in one afternoon just the way it is and never changed anything after. An animated music video was made for it by the amazing Ben Balaton and it perfectly captures the story of the song. I loved working with Ben because he understood my ideas from the get go, even if some of my initial drawings were horrible, he could make it just the way I imagined it, and I thank him for the perfect final product that I will cherish forever. It is my first animated music video, are you kidding me?!?!?!
Hold me closer than before
I'm cold, you see stay forevermore
If only I knew what to ask for
Why am I feeling like I'm running out of time
Overall, I don’t know what to write in the ending paragraph because this was not a review, just some thoughts from behind the scenes. I don’t want to leave you with a conclusion. I hope you will listen and will draw your own. Million thanks to Jorge Arenas who is one of the most talented musicians I know for producing, mixing and mastering these songs.
Stream Steps here:
Puzzls on social media:
I will only review the album covers because they were made by the one and only Rue Atelier and they are literally perfect, nothing else to add here: