A decade in the making, the killer new song from the solo project of Amelia Bushell “tells the story of someone losing themselves to addiction”
Apologies in advance, because I’m going to take this brand-new Extra Special as an opportunity to, first and foremost, gush over less new Extra Special.
The solo project of Amelia Bushell (of BK faves Grim Streaker + Bell Mare) landed last year in the form of the Lazy About It EP: five tracks exploring—among other ultra-relatable topics—friendship, heartbreak and trying to get your shit together (plus getting too high) with wit, imagery and arresting honesty.
These aren’t songs you just have on in the background or sing along to in the shower without absorbing what the artist is saying. They’re poetry set to sound, evocative lyrics consisting of frank, funny and fuuuucckkkk-that-hits-hard lines that express what we’ve all felt but are often too scared (or ashamed) to put into words—meaning, when an artist does it for us, there truly is no greater gift.
A few of my favorite bites from each track:
“I Hate Love”: “Followin’ your every move online // Studyin’ your pictures one at a time // Wondering if you’re lookin’ at mine // I swear I got a life and I want you to see it”
“My Car is Parked in Canada”: “Who blesses you with a dream or curses you with a nightmare // Open my curtains to the first day of spring and it’s snowing so I shotgun a beer”
“Thanks to You”: “For the time in my life that will teach me the most // For that look in your eye when you started to doubt // For the calls that you said you would make but you never did // Thanks to you, thanks to you“
“Too Hard to Mend”: “Thought I saw you downtown // But it was just your ghost // A movie that I wrote // And in a city where eight million co-exist // It’s you that I miss”
“True Fear”: “True Fear is losing your phone in a strange place and you don’t know how to get home” (Really, though.)
The bottom line: It’s a very, very good record and a damn good debut. And now, I’m thrilled to share that—in completely unsurprising news—Amelia has done it again. And I could not be more thrilled, or honored, to premiere the excellent new Extra Special song here.
This is “Johnny Got Lost.”
It’s always impressive when an artist can take a dark subject and make it danceable, and with “Johnny Got Lost”—a song a decade in the making, with origins in a blissful weed-filled summer and a thrifted synth—Amelia does just that, and ahead of this week’s release, the artist sent over the following background on the track, which tells the story of a tragic spiral:
“I began writing this song when I was 18 years old. I found an old synthesizer at the Salvation Army and brought it everywhere with me. It was the summer after high school. I didn’t have a care in the world and all I wanted to do was get stoned and write music. One evening my friends and I drove down to the beach to smoke some weed and I brought the synthesizer with me and showed them this little tune I had been working on. Everyone loved it and the song never left my mind so a decade later I decided to finish it off and record it with Gary Atturio as producer. ‘Johnny Got Lost’ tells the story of someone losing themselves to addiction. The song was mastered by Jonathan Schenke.”
“Johnny Got Lost” drops everywhere tomorrow, with a video following soon. Stay tuned for that (and maybe more new Extra Special!) coming your way soon—
But first do yourself a favor and go back and listen to it alllll.
Feature image provided by the artist.