Told Slant’s songs tend to demand full concentration even from an occupied mind. “Tsunami”, whose studio recording’s been a few years coming, is no exception—it’s the sort of song that takes over, hard not to fixate on in spite of whatever you’re doing in the moment. The new single off the Epoch stalwarts’ upcoming record starts slow, unassuming, with the careful pluck of some strings against ambient sounds as singer and drummer Felix Walworth sings softly about wanting to be “a good sky on a bad day.” Then they admit today was a bad day, and their voice breaks into a cry.
Walworth is honest where it isn’t easy. “I don’t know how to talk to you without a can in my hand / without a can in your hands,” they sing when the instrumentation comes to a lull, and the admission is heartbreaking. But there’s reassurance in the recurring wave of “Isn’t this silly and aren’t you beautiful.” Told Slant has arrested the moment when tears can’t be choked back any longer, when strength can only be found in vulnerability. Walworth told The FADER:
“Tsunami” is a song about recognizing what you need and what you’re missing. It’s also a song about asking the people you love, your immediate environment, and the ideas and possibilities of this world to create some meaning for you where you can’t create it on your own. When no one will write a love song for you, you have to do it yourself.
The moving home video embodies this recognition, taking us through the seasons and quiet moments alone and with friends—including Girlpool’s Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad, Oliver Kalb of Bellows, and Eskimeaux’s Gabrielle Smith, all of whom contribute vocals. As the series of memories comes to a close the chorus returns, this time with more than one gentle voice reassuring.
Going By is out June 16 on Double Double Whammy.