album: Survival Pop - Worriers
words: Ansley Lee
It’s somewhere around 5 pm (I will ALWAYS support an earlier gig if it means less hangover and more sleep) at Lucky Liquor Tavern in South Seattle when Lauren Denitzio walks up to the microphone between songs.
I remember they said something about how ridiculous the gender binary is.
My face went hot and a pit formed in my ever upset stomach. There is this strange magic that happens when you feel seen by music. Especially at a show. If you’re around me in my daily life, you’ve heard me go on and on about how confused I am by gender. It’s a constant relief and excitement as more space is being held for that grey area and for identities held by folks who don’t feel they are entirely one gender or the other. When you live in that grey area, it’s confusing, frustrating and more than anything, isolating. I felt more validated at that Worriers show back in July than I had in awhile.
Survival Pop, is finally here. This is Worriers' sophomore album and their first after signing with SideOne Dummy (previously on Don Giovanni). The album serves as a nostalgic door into who we were, who we are and how the hell we got here. It’s my favorite head space, thinking back on the weird decisions that got us here and who we were in that moment when it was reality and not the past. The record is catchy, honest and intentional in the songwriting and arrangement, and Survival Pop lives up to its name. In the current harsh reality, we need that magic to pull us in, validate us, and make us feel seen. That feeling of:
“Oh, they get it”.
Back when I heard “They/Them/Theirs” (off their 2015 record, Imaginary Life) I listened to it on loop, all day. For multiple days. Survival Pop kept this trend going with “Gaslighter”. The song is biting look back on how well packaged and predictable a past memory is, neatly filed away in the back of your mind:
“Now I get to hear about how sorry you are
now’s a perfect time to hear how sorry you are
but I just want to be alone sometimes”
I, without a doubt, played that track on repeat more than I’d like to admit. “Open Heart” closes the record with personal empathy for the “little time lost/but perspective gained”. Survival Pop is a true gem and speaks to so much of what is needed right now. Encouragement, accountability and hindsight. Last thing I’ll say is: my dad likes Worriers and it makes me really proud.
Now, do yourself a favor: stop reading this and go listen to Survival Pop.