The new single from the Brooklyn band is raw and emotional, offering the first taste of the forthcoming “really personal (and different!) EP”
People change. Sometimes for worse, often for better—but very rarely together.
This separation often happens slowly, both parties’ life paths shifting by fractions of a degree, diverging one tiny choice at a time. Each person goes, and grows, their own way until one day you wake up and realize that you’re no longer the same people and you don’t share the same priorities. You have conflicting wants and needs, different values, unaligned prescriptions for your respective visions for the future. You no longer know who they are or where they’re going.
You might hem and haw and cling and claw, wondering what you can and should do as you fight against this invisible force of change, desperately digging your nails in and sacrificing yourself as you try and stop the relationship from falling apart. Or maybe you decide to accept it and confidently continue down the course you’ve charted for your own journey, traveling towards your chosen destination and working to fulfill your personal destiny.
Either way, with the dissolution of any close relationship, there’s an inevitable mourning period. One defined by frustration, desperation, devastation. A sense of loss and being lost. A grieving of the past you had and the future, so often imagined, that you won’t. And it’s this concept and this conflict, that of growing (apart) pains, that’s beautifully explored in “Smaller / Better” — the new single from Tetchy, which I’m stoked to premiere here.
“You say you want me to be free // Fear on your face, clenching your teeth // You say you want me to be free // Do you know what that even means // Do you know what that even means”
“This song is about the moment you realize you’re growing in the opposite direction from someone,” shared Tetchy songwriter and singer Maggie Denning of the track. “You don’t know how you got there, or how you’re just now seeing things as they really are. There’s this weird and twisted blame-game you start to play as you try to get to the bottom of it all… There’s also this mind-melting frustration. But then, that’s all just obliterated by a pure, deadened sadness as you begin to see that you’re probably going to lose them.
So the song is really about being fucked no matter which way you go. And simultaneously wanting (so very badly) to be able to find a new (better) path forward together.”
In their Spotify bio, Tetchy writes that the band “puts sludgy, distorted bass and guitar side by side with shrieking and whispering vocals” and both style of vocals are on display in this song, in which Maggie magically harmonizes with herself, sweet coos combining with shrill screeches for an energy that’s equal parts babe and banshee. The result isn’t just interesting and effective from a sonic perspective, building tension and momentum while offering contrast and depth, but also works to illustrate the very human concept of contradiction. The ability to hold different, even conflicting, thoughts and emotions. Or maybe it’s the idea of a difference and disconnect between our inner and outer worlds. How we can do or say one thing while thinking or feeling entirely differently.
Along with insights on the single, Maggie also shared intel on the forthcoming EP, out March 24th. Also called Smaller / Better, the record is a result of productivity and a true product of processing, the artist working to embrace her circumstances and accept herself as she consistently transformed her experiences and emotions into songs over the course of a year-long collective commitment to creation.
“Smaller / Better” is the title track off of a really personal (and different!) EP that we’re going to be putting out next month,” she shared. “The songs all came from a big ‘Song-A-Week’ club that I ran for most of 2022. I was just writing a ton and recording everything on my phone as I was going — just being with myself and sitting in some of the big changes and messes I was making within the process of trying to listen to & love myself.
The songs were probably about 85 or 90% recorded on my iPhone (including all the vocals). Then Jesse (who plays guitar in Tetchy & does most of our tracking) really brought everything to life with fresh mixes & additional guitar, synth, and bass parts.”
And now that the songs have been brought to life, don’t miss your chance to catch them live! The Tetchy crew is soon touring their way down to Texas for SXSW, but you can catch them at their kick-off show (and thus financially support them on the gas/shelter/snacks fronts) on Friday March 3rd, when they hit the stage of The Broadway with TVOD and Batsbatsbats Ghostghostghost. Tickets here!
Feature image (provided by the band): Sydney Tate Bradford