South West London upstarts Slaney Bay ponder the ins and outs and ups and downs of love with their brand new EP, ‘Why Does Love Mean Loss?’. It’s a record that sees them really digging deep to grapple with uncomfortable subjects like depression and grief, while simultaneously spinning their own brand of comforting, uplifting indie magic to create something really special.
Here, frontwoman Cait Whitley talks us through the release track by track.
‘Why Does Love Mean Loss?’ explores the interconnectivity of love and loss. And ‘The Fall’ opens with the most inward form of this… loss of love for yourself during depression. That gut-wrenching feeling when you notice your behaviour is spiralling again. You’re letting your friends down and losing a sturdy grip on your motivation. We wanted the song to feel thrashing and tortured – full of distortion and squealing vocals. Like you’re almost begging yourself to get better.
We’ve always loved songs that have location-specific lyrics. I think it adds a whole ‘nother component to music… You can almost visualise the lyrics happening in real time. ‘EST’ is set within an airport. Think of Ross running after Rachel before she gets on the plane in F.R.I.E.N.D.S… ‘EST’ is for the hopeless romantics chasing after their loved one before they move away forever. It’s also our world record attempt for most “OOO”s in one song… Did we win?
No One Else
‘No One Else’ was the first track we started writing on this record. It started as a soft, acoustic love song… proclaiming how we’ve never felt a love this strong before. But, we couldn’t help but include a Florence Welch-esque vocal key change at the end. There’s also stems upon stems of Joey and I singing in dramatic, operatic voices to thicken that final chorus. I’m starting to realise that we’re more theatrical than we thought…
‘Move On’ is one of our favourite tracks to play live. The energy makes the room glow. And that was the intention upon recording. A simple yet soaring guitar riff with howling indie rock vocals. It’s therapeutic, too. I remember I’d been upset about a few life experiences while in the studio. Friendship troubles and feelings of self-doubt. ‘Move On’ was a promise to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
This is our hidden gem on the record. For the lyrics, we rehashed direct memories of reluctant house parties we’d ended up at. You’re walking through a house party, sad drunk over an unattainable crush and avoiding herds of people you haven’t spoken to since school. We all loved recording this song as we packed that wall of sound full of random instruments. One being an old, broken harp found at the bottom of my bedroom cupboard. That’s definitely the most creative we’ve felt in the studio.
‘Family Tree’ was, emotionally, the hardest song we’ve ever written. It’s about losing a loved one – and for me, specifically, my grandad. After he passed, I started to realise how many mannerisms I have of his… colloquialisms and hand gestures. From there, the line “Thank God, the apple never fell far from the family tree” was born. Even though your family member is gone, they still live on in you. The track finishes with a sample of my grandad talking. He adored music – and really nurtured my love for it. Now, he’s cemented in this song forever. So, ‘Family Tree’ is both an ode and a thank you to him.
Slaney Bay’s EP ‘Why Does Love Mean Loss?’ is out now.