It’s funny how musicians need to shed their skin sometimes. Being in a band with a sound people like is a positive thing, but you’re also slowly pulling the walls around you in tighter in terms of your creative freedom in a way. Once you’ve made that sound, it’s hard to make any dramatic changes without some burn damage. So that’s where new projects come in. Not only does it insulate your main band from any potential blowback from fans to a new sound, a change of artistic clothes can often free up musicians mentally to write in a way that they maybe haven’t considered before, and open up space for the songs that don’t quite fit in the original project.
Ebba Gustafsson Ågren of Wy and her side-project Cuntrie, and her new single Spider (which we’re premiering today), is a good example of this working at its best. The singles she’s put out to date (we wrote about debut The Singer a while back) sound like Wy in their emotional intensity, but occupy a different space to the day job. Spider sounds like a bedroom diary project, with the creative lines looser and more lo-fi than her main band, and straying freely where they want to. So here we have lo-fi pop, but lo-fi pop stretched in multiple directions at once, both by her creative melodies and little production touches, and her video for the song, which adds to and expands the track into something bigger than a song on its own could manage. Really, the whole project feels like she’s built a room and installed a window – when the audience takes a look, they get a glimpse of Ågren’s deeply personal, vivid world.
Ebba says: “‘Spider’ is about trivial fears and weird dreams. I’ve had a major fear of the dark since I was a child and I had a real problem with going to sleep for many years. I still have a lot of nightmares, but writing a song about them somehow made them less scary. Nightmares can become really silly in the daytime.”
Spider is out on November 29, and Cuntrie’s debut EP Scrapbooking is out on Jan 22 on Feverish.