The new single from the project of Michael Tarnofsky is a testament to the artist’s way with words, a story spun into song described as “the car crash of a lifetime in a race to the ultimate finish”
Long before the concept of main character syndrome arrived on the internet, we’d already naturally been crafting the soundtracks to our lives:
The Top-40 track we fist-pumped to while pre-gaming freshman year.
The emo banger that got us through our worst breakup.
The shimmery single we blasted with our windows down during that one magic summer.
And, when the films of our lives collectively into a turned drama-meets-medical-mystery, we each found, and clung to, an emotional-support song to help us cope with the uncertainty.
For me, that sonic security blanket was “Oh My God” from Edna, the track that introduced me to the project from Michael Tarnofsky, which he released in demo form back in September 2020 and I instantly fell in love with, looping it on repeat while I, like all of us, wondered if we’d ever see live music again.
And it wasn’t just a time of ambiguity and anxiety into which the song was released, but in which it was written, alone in an empty loft by an artist who wasn’t sure if he’d ever have the opportunity to do what he loved again.
Fortunately, for all of us, he was. He is. And now, two years later—in times that are confusing in some of the same ways plus plenty of new ones—the professionally polished full-band take on “Oh My God” is officially out in the world and, in beautiful full-circle form, I couldn’t be more thrilled to premiere it here!
The sunset paused and time turned to wax // steel to rust and ash to ash
Like so many of my favorite artists, Michael isn’t just a musician but a real writer whose love for, and skill with, language is evident. He wields and works words well, and Edna lyrics are equal parts poetic and punchy, humorous and heartfelt, evocative and stunningly, skillfully simple as he stays true to the characters he crafts, the worlds he builds and the messages—and emotions—he aims to impart. Michael’s mastery in this arena is exemplified by “Oh My God,” which is a story spun into song (featuring, btw, a perfectly executed sonofabitch) that is described by the artist himself as “the car crash of a lifetime in a race to the ultimate finish
And the oh my god hits me riiiight in the feels. Every. Single. Fucking. Time.
Ahead of the release, Michael sent over some background on the making of the track and its evolution from solo effort to group artistic endeavor as he was once again able to bring in bandmates old and new.
“I wrote ‘Oh My God’ at a time when I didn’t think I’d really ever have a band ever again (early lockdown-covid style) or play a show so the demo making process was something I could just ruminate on all day long for days and days. I found my earworm, and I found the vague textures of the feeling just lying on the floor of the abandoned loft above my apartment on Dekalb I had taken up as my studio space. When the band finally came together to play it it just snapped right into form. It felt like we finally arrived at a sound that really felt like the one that was playing in my head, which had been eluding me for years.
I met Andrew Rahm through the BandsDoBK classifieds in the fall of last year and he was the final piece to our puzzle. It was amazing. We played him a few new songs without any preparation and he would rattle off the references he heard in the music (Tom Petty, Neil Young, Big Star, Pavement, etc.) and they were all spot on. After a few shows in the fall that felt really special we rushed into Future Sounds Studio in Red Hook. And over the course of two days and like a half ounce of Phantom Cookies we laid down our three favorites songs from the new setlist. Nick (Lafalce) bowed a baritone guitar. Justin (Mayfield) did 20 takes of a really deranged guitar solo (even though he really nailed it in two takes). The final product translates that ease and creative flow we were in together. Nelson Espinol (Stuyedeyed) mixed at Studio G and Alberto De Icaza Mastered the track. Everything came together in a really organic way and i’m really happy to share the song in all it’s pristine sounding glory.
Steel to rust, ash to ash,
Michael Charles Tarnofsky”
If we had a time machine, we could go back and assure our past selves that live music would indeed be back, while our past selves would want to make sure that present us aren’t taking it for granted. (You follow?) Please make the 2020 versions of yourselves proud, and catch Edna at Sultan Room TONIGHT with Couvo (album release), Laura Galindo and Drive-In. (Tix here.)
You better believe I’ll be up in there crying through my personal COVID soundtrack and OMG-ing all over the place. And will be so incredibly thankful to be doing it this time inside a venue, in the company of a crowd.
Feature image (provided by the artist): Ada Chen