Worriers - “Trust Your Gut” Track-by-Track | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, June 21st, 2024  

Worriers - “Trust Your Gut” Track-by-Track

Sonic Confidence

Sep 15, 2023 Web Exclusive Photography by Lauren Desberg Bookmark and Share


In 2013, Lauren Denitzio’s Worriers released their first album, the eight-song Cruel Optimist. In the ensuing decade, they have gone from playing their punk-inflected fare at DIY shows in the Northeast to moving to Los Angeles and forging a new and more nuanced musical path, the culmination of which has resulted in Worriers’ new album, Trust Your Gut. Some of Denitzio’s punkier tendencies remain, but added to the mix are bubbly keyboard, lush orchestration, and singer/songwriter-y fare.

This time around, supplementing Denitzio’s singing and guitar are Atom Willard (Against Me!, Social Distortion) on drums, Franz Nicolay (The Hold Steady) on keys, Frank Piegaro on guitar, and Allegra Anka (Cayetana) on bass, making things more of a team effort than their sparser Warm Blanket project from earlier this year.

Denitzio refers to Trust Your Gut as an emotional song cycle, and it features all of the introspective and self-seeking lyrics that one has come to expect from Denitzio’s work. They took a minute from preparing for a North American fall tour to give Under the Radar a track-by-track rundown that can be a guide to your listening pleasure.

“Hold My Breath”

“It felt appropriate to start the record with a song that’s about letting go amid deep disappointment. I don’t think I know how to write about something like that without having at least a little bit of sarcasm in there. ‘Yeah, don’t hold your breath!.’ The song starts in an introspective place that builds up to the full presence of everyone who plays on this record, introducing everyone one at a time, which feels like a nice arrival. Allegra Anka on bass, then Frank Piegaro on guitar, then Atom Willard on drums, then Franz Nicolay on keys.”

“Trust Your Gut”

“Anyone who knows me well knows that the easiest way to get under my skin is to tell me ‘It’s fine’ when I’m concerned about something. I wanted to write something that could be a celebratory distraction from that kind of worry, the deep in your gut feeling that something isn’t right. This was a really fun one to work on, both trying to dance while writing it and having to sort through a ton of different synth ideas from Franz. I really love this one. A bit of a throwback pop-rock synth party to throw off self-doubt.”

“I’m Not Mad”

“If the last song is about shaking off your nerves to find self-confidence, this one is about taking that and really acting on your boundaries. Once this song kicks in it somehow turns into one long breakdown that does, in fact, sound a little bit mad.”

“Waste of Space”

“I definitely wrote this one for my past self, the way you think of one cringey thing you did or said 10 years ago for no good reason, wishing you could go back and do it again. It’s about that missed chance, knowing you weren’t the best version of yourself at that time. I spent some time in the past couple of years taking guitar lessons again and just really enjoying playing acoustic at home, doing more fingerpicking, and this one came out of that.”

“Backyard Garden”

“This was the first song where I realized I was working on the next album. It was originally written for a project called Gay Divorcees curated by Ethan Philbrick, who plays cello on the track, and it wasn’t even supposed to be for the band. It slowly turned into this epic song about an emotional language barrier and what makes someone your partner, what makes a house a home.”

“Cloudy and 55”

“This song was inspired by a conversation I had with Lauren Berlant [author, Cruel Optimism] during the Gay Divorcees project where we talked about how certain people can be objects of desire that make you possible. So even when a lot of memories of someone are a bit melancholy, bittersweet, or even bad, they’re part of what adds up to being who you are. Sometimes I miss the East Coast, yes, but this one is probably more about missing the things that so significantly made us who we are now.”

“Anything Else”

“It’s really difficult to explain to someone that the things on your mind are just general existential dread, or the myriad things one could worry about at any one time, and not something that you could just process or talk about easily. So I wrote something that could be a bit fun, wanting to forget about all of that for a while when you’re with someone you care about. It was also just a lot of fun to tell Frank to go nuts on guitar noise and make a guitar solo that could match that feeling of smiling through extreme anxiety.”

“Losing the Thread”

“This is one where I think everyone had fun thinking a little bit outside the normal rhythm box, trying to find a groove for this song. It’s a song that I didn’t think was really meant for me to sing, but I found a way to make it my own. Another example of just trying to will sonic confidence into being! It’s about losing yourself to someone else and realizing there’s that emotional disconnect. With snaps.”

“Charming”

“This is probably the saddest happy song on the record. I wrote and re-wrote it what feels like a million times, trying to get it to really be a driving, fun song, that tap dances around being depressed when people might think things are going great. I’ve had the conversation too many times to count with friends where things look great on paper but one of us is in a dark place.”

“Math”

“You could maybe say that this song is about holding a grudge, but I think it’s more about having enough self-respect to trust your memory and protect your self-worth. It’s a very hindsight is 20/20 song where you look back on all the little things that add up to what your intuition was trying to tell you all along. I wrote it in a really quiet way on an old keyboard in my room and handed it off to Franz to really give it some life.”

“Top 5”

“This one I had been writing in some way since April of 2020, staring at the same view from my room for a month where it rained out of nowhere in Los Angeles for maybe a week straight. I was really trying to find a way to express the frustration of seeing people make light of what was and continues to be a national tragedy. I think I was originally calling it ‘Drink a Lot of Water”‘making fun of those types of articles telling you how to get through an unprecedented scenario by exercising a lot. It took a while to get there, and Atom and I broke apart some of it and put it back together again over a year into writing it before it really sat where we wanted it to.”

“Friends or Something”

“I think this song makes this album a full cycle emotionally. It’s something I started writing very early on, trying to write around more of a vibe than any one specific situation. I don’t think this song even has a proper chorus, just one long emotional outro. If you listened to the rest of this album, you know where to go and where to go next when you inevitably feel like this again one day.”

www.worriers.bandcamp.com/album/trust-your-gut

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