Skip to main content

INDEPENDENT SONG RELEASE: R E L , “Surgery”


R E L (or r.e.l.) is a 23 year-old singer/songwriter Arielle Sitrick who refers to her music as “EVOCA-POP.” Her aim is to write catchy songs with lyrics that say something more than what most radio-friendly tunes would dare approach. True to this idea, the first single from her new album is called "Surgery," a song about eating disorders and body dysmorphia. Ariana Grande this is not.

The song begins with a melancholic piano played over a backwards track. “Someone once told me,” Sitrick sings, “if you count back from a hundred to one / Things don’t hurt so bad / I never really get there / Around sixty, I lose track in my head / Those numbers don’t have my back.”

Her voice is as soft as it gets without being a whisper, yet manages to carry the odd, conversational rhythm of the lyrics, odd from being sung instead of spoken. It’s actually the song’s strongest charm. That and the badada badada badadada’s.

The lyrics themselves are as heavy as they get without sounding like they’re from a death metal song: “Why does it hurt to heal? / How come my bones can break?/ Knock me out, stitch me up, it’s surgery.”

Jesus.

EVOCA-POP is also the title of R E L’s new 3-part “visual album.” A search of her website for an elaboration of what this means comes up empty, as does an explanation for what “R E L” even stands for. Or maybe I’m reading too much high-concept into the “visual” part and really she just means that she’ll be evoking a lot of images in her songs. Maybe R E L stands for “Recommended Exposure Limit” (which would be genius kinda.) Maybe it doesn’t stand for anything.

Should maybe listen to the girl herself:

"Music can heal,” she says in her press release. “I've chosen to make a 3-side album to address each phase of healing as its own story and as part of a bigger story. I developed anorexia at a very young age and struggled with it for many years. Side A tells the story of a first stage of healing – facing the problem, realizing you’ve been hurting yourself. Self-compassion is the first step towards peace.”

And apparently she’s hitting a universal nerve. R E L has attracted more than 2 million Spotify streams and nearly a million YouTube views. Here’s to hoping this helps Sitrick continue to heal.

Like what you've read? Please comment and share!

Want to hear the song? Click HERE.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

INDEPENDENT SONG RELEASE: Elise Hayes, “Giving Up”

“You never wanted me to get that tattoo,” sings Nashville recording artist Elise Hayes . “I’m going to get that tattoo.” This the start to her new single “Giving Up,” (co-written with Johnny Mo ) which is about not giving up, an ode to post-relationship defiance. There is freedom in being your own person again, even if you were the one dumped. The music itself is a tapestry of sorts: sonic styles patchworked together into a compact yet pleasing mix. Pounding drums and sitar give way to softer guitar, then back to drums, which sometimes beat rapidly as a door knock. A wake up call. The song often stops and starts as if her thoughts are coming to her in jagged fits as she’s singing them. “You never wanted me to have that haircut / Well, now I do…”   It’s a hard style to pull off but Hayes does it effortlessly. She is a strong singer/songwriter, doubtlessly helped in her confidence from being featured in TV shows, such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” MTV ’s “Siesta Key,” and other

INDEPENDENT ALBUM RELEASE: Sarah Schonert, “Songs About Sounds”

I know a few too many people who have set aside their hopes for a career in art and/or music because their spouse came along, then the kids. Now there’s laundry to do and bills to pay. Making art seems trivial now. Besides, after looking into the eyes of your child, how could you ever hope to create anything more amazing than that anyway? What other point is there? All you have to say to the world is in this little human being you helped invite here. Bullshit obviously. There are plenty of projects which transcend chores and species duplication. Sarah Schonert is a musician and mother from Peoria. She writes, records, and produces her own music from her home studio. This is how her newest release, Songs about Sounds , became her fourth official LP and TENTH (!) album. Sarah is also an engineer, designer, and painter, so shut up about how busy you are to do that stuff anymore. Her music could be described as Kate Bush or Tori Amos reinterpreted by Jean-Michel Jarre. Sarah m

INDEPENDENT ALBUM RELEASE: Robertas Semeniukas, "Backstage Stories"

Robertas Semeniukas’ new album Backstage Stories is a 20-track tour de force of grandiose, crunching guitars occasionally accented by his Lithuanian vocals, delivered rapid-fire on the opening track, “Kai nieko nebelieka,” as if he’s rapping. During certain points he snarls his lyrics with such emotion that not being able to understand him is actually a little frustrating. You have no idea what he’s singing, but he certainly seems to mean it.  Google Translate helps with the titles at least. The second track is a pleasing, softer standout number that includes (as many do) a duet with a female singer. It’s entitled “Nesustok,” which means “Don’t Stop.” “Kai Tu Sugrisi I Namus,” another melody-heavy duet, is translated into “When I Return You Home.” The songs titled in English are predictably instrumentals. The best of these is “Flying High (S.V.J.S.),” a showcase for Semeniukas’ nimble fret-hammering. (To be exact, only 8 of the songs have vocals.)  An album titled Backsta