The new single (+ accompanying home movie) is the first release of the queer pop-rock band’s brand-new chapter and an “honest soliloquy about the fear of getting older”
At some point in the last six or so months, I scrolled upon an Instagram post that I immediately shared with all of my 30-something friends who live in NYC. Of course I can’t find it now, and I haven’t been able to Google my way to the true internet philosopher behind the thought, but the gist was this:
“I don’t know how to explain it, but 34 in New York City is 24 everywhere else.”
This is funny simply because it feels true. It’s interesting, as you get older, to see the different ways people go about growing up. And it’s a strange and fascinating phenomenon to witness friends and siblings—those with whom you played Barbies and ate fruit snacks then hit puberty and stole Smirnoff Ice—start checking those very adult boxes and achieving those traditional life milestones: getting married, having kids… having more kids… buying houses… eating meals that aren’t microwaveable. Especially when you’re still swiping, crowdsurfing, renting with roommates and subsisting primarily on Amy’s black-bean burritos. (You know. Hypothetically.)
As an actual 34-year-old living in New York, the quote above obviously hit home hard for me—I’m def way more about partying than potty-training—but dealing with confusion and comparison while getting older isn’t, of course, a problem specific to those in their 30s. Nah, the quarter-life crisis hits earlier than that.
In the lyrics of NYC band of 20-something’s Strawberry Launch:
“My older sister plans to start her family soon / my brother bought a house and now he’s happy too / And I’ve got bills to pay and big debts of my own / Oh, I’m terrified that I might live this life alone“
“I feel like I’m still learning and growing with myself every day,” says Strawberry Launch lead singer Riiza of the song quoted above, “and I wanted to write about the anxiety it gives me to compare my life trajectory to those closest to me.”
“Everyone talks about ‘coming of age’ and romanticizing youth,” adds Strawberry Launch keyboardist Taylor Hurt, “but no one talks about how scary change is in your twenties when you’re left to your own devices.”
These are indeed fair fears. After all, there’s no real roadmap for growing up. Getting older is… weird. Sometimes scary. Often overwhelming. Oh, and expensive. So goddamn expensive. And while the freedom can certainly be exhilarating, it still often leaves you missing and mourning the seemingly sweeter and simpler times. All while also looking around at everyone else and wondering, and worrying, whether you’re doing the whole damn thing right.
That said, the band’s desire to embrace and explore their anxieties has fortunately resulted in a gift for us all: a tender, shimmery new single that serves as an “honest soliloquy about the fear of getting older.” And a day ahead of its release, I’m stoked to premiere the track, along with very delightful accompanying video, right here on Bands do BK.
From Strawberry Launch, this is “Ready Yet.”
“I don’t mean to scare you, or to be so upfront but do you feel the way I do? / I’m not ready yet, and neither are you.”
This isn’t the first release from Strawberry Launch, but it is the first in a while. The band started in 2018 as a result of Riiza’s cold call to guitarist Matrianna Gahol, and was rounded out with the addition of Taylor on keys, Abby Flicker on bass and Beniy on drums. Since releasing their six-track self-titled EP in August 2021, the group has been on a bit of a hiatus, focusing on honing their sound and sharpening their storytelling, and this is the first release in what they describe as a “brand-new chapter for Strawberry Launch.”
So here’s the good news: Now that the band is back, you have plenty of opportunities to check out the fruits (sorry) of their labor. Get your tickets to see Strawberry Launch at Baby’s All Right on May 3rd with My Son The Doctor here, and don’t miss them at Sultan Room on June 7 with Papi Shiitake and Jay Rosie. Tickets for that one here.
As for me, I look forward to catching you in the crowd at one of them, as I do the perfectly normal 34-in-NYC thing—AKA spend a Wednesday evening getting sweaty with a group of strangers at a show.
If this is growing up…well, I guess it’s not so bad.
Follow Strawberry Launch at @strawberrylaunch, buy music on Bandcamp and add the songs to your Spotify playlists!
Feature image (provided by the band): Meghan Marshall