Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate)’s Keith Latinen has collaborated with Ben Hendricks (Annabel), Gooey Fame (Dowsing) and Joyn Guynn to form Parting – and the band are set to release their debut EP ‘Unmake Me’ on 4 June via Count Your Lucky Stars (US) and strictly no capital letters (UK) records.
There’s a wavey emo sound on the opening ‘Jesse Eisenbird’ as the band discuss looking back on ‘a series of photographs’ and remember how how they felt waiting outside the window of a hospital room where ‘your mother was clinging to life’. They then have a poignant and honest discussion of how her cancer spread amidst touching harmonies. ‘Ratt Michards’ quickly follows and this song, which has a Get Up Kids or Weakerthans feel, is all about feeling unhappy in your job and how much of an impact a poor work/life balance can have on you: ‘Wanted to sleep all day. I was miserable and I knew it. How I hate this job and my fucking terrible boss’; ‘I was counting down the hours before the day had even begun’. ‘Stapler’s Monster’ has a slower, more deliberate sound – more in the Empire! Empire! space – with its discussion of having unhealthy thoughts at 4am and trying to work out what’s going on in your life as you try to escape mundaneity: ‘What am I supposed to do next? What if it’s too late?’; ‘Go to work. No time to think. Come back home and repeat’.
‘After the Fact’ has a groove in its opening hooks with Keith and Ben’s dual vocals offering extra emotional depth as they get all nostalgic, while ‘Maybe He’s Blinking When You’re Blinking’ has Pavement-esque guitar tones and thoughts on how somwtimes you end up putting yourself into a corner: ‘Pull their teeth out, one by one. I gave them names. I reclaim myself’. This is followed by the 90-second sad pop anthem ‘He’s Obviously Beekeeping Age’ – a warts-and-all account of a drive home following a decision to break up with the passenger, complete with memories of the lover leaning against the window and ‘the silence between us like an unbearable weight’.
‘Living Proof’ closes the record with chamber pop hooks, a fuzzed-up guitar solo and group chants of how ‘We all will embrace this because we all want the same thing, but we don’t know what that is, and that’s OK with me’. With so many relatable lyrics and driving hooks, Parting’s ‘Unmake Me’ should make it into your collection.