The Brooklyn band’s new single explores “this idea of the hard things we go though and how it changes us”


Human beings don’t come with track changes.

While we’re constantly transforming—growing and morphing with every encounter, event, triumph, crisis, and even conversation—autosave is always on, and aside from actual physical scars, which don’t tell a story so much as indicate the potential presence of one, there’s no way to look at a person and know everything they’ve been through. How much they’ve suffered, struggled and overcome. How much they’ve lived… laughed… loved. (JK—but also, seriously.)

Whether it’s a stranger on the street or a best friend you haven’t seen in weeks, months or years, if we’re all the sum of our experiences, you’ll never know all the problems that makes up another person’s problem—the combination of positive and negative moments that have combined to shape their imperfect present. And as we’re all a constant work in progress, and the one constant in this crazy world is change, who someone is today might be completely different than who they become tomorrow.

It’s this idea, in a sense, that’s illustrated in the new single from BK four-piece QWAM, which explores, to put it simply, how the tough shit shapes us. And it’s a song—and accompanying video!—that I couldn’t be more pumped to premiere here.

From QWAM, this is “Oslo.”

If a person is a result of what they’ve experienced, art might be defined as their expression of it. And much like you’ll never be able to completely comprehend another person’s story, guessing the true meaning behind a song is impossible—unless, say, the artists responsible offer you a little insight. Which, quite fortunately, is exactly the case here.

Ahead of the release, half the band—which consists of Felicia Lobo on vocals, Matt Keim on guitar, Eddie Kuspiel on bass and Rachel Zisette on drums—were kind enough to send over some thoughts on both the making and meaning of the new track over email:

Matt: “I remember this was written over a couple sessions you and I had in the summer of 2019 after our tour, both at our apartments and in the park that one time. Eventually we workshopped it with the band. It definitely deals with slow builds and big releases, which is a bit different from our usual stuff. Softness against harsh noise and darkness. It’s kinda like the old song we just called ‘Slow Song,’ but with a miserably simple but difficult feel change in the chorus.”

Felicia: “Yeah I mean lyrically it’s about this idea of the hard things we go though and how it changes us. A couple of years ago I was hanging out with an old friend and I started looking at us from a birdseye view. I knew he couldn’t see what I’d gone through, but I wondered if I seemed any different. Could he see all of me or just his memory of me? We’re a collection of our experiences so when you don’t see someone for a long time you are sort of seeing a new version of them. The good and the bad, ya know?”

“Oslo” is out everywhere tomorrow. Don’t miss your chance to catch it live TONIGHT when QWAM hits the stage at The Windjammer w/ Fat Heaven and a guitar power hour c/o Ray McGale! Want more? They’ve got it. You can also catch the band at their single release show TOMORROW at The Knitting Factory with The Night Spins and Kahiem Rivera.

I’m not saying you neeeeeed to attend both, but if every evening out in Brooklyn somehow contributes to who you are as a human being, you might as well do your best to make every one a good one—and hey, these shows are a pretty great place to start.


Follow QWAM at @qwamband grab the music on Bandcamp and add the songs to your Spotify playlists!

Credits: written and performed by Matt Keim, Felicia Lobo, Eddie Kuspiel, and Rachel Zisette; engineered by Alex Dinsmore; mixed by Jack Counce; mastered by Dave Williams

Feature image provided by the band.

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