Last fall the darkly melodious post-punk band Big Bliss released “Sleep Paralysis,” the lead single from their new album Vital Return. They’ve since announced an Aug. 18 release date for the album and shared its opening track, “A Seat At The Table.” Today they’re back with new single “Tether,” another winner from what is looking like a very solid LP.
Whereas “Sleep Paralysis” was inspired by bandmates Tim and Cory Race mourning their father, “Tether” is one of several tracks on the new album dealing with Tim’s recovery from addiction. It’s brightly hooky and propulsive despite such heavy subject matter, moving forward with grace and overflowing with harmony. Here’s Tim Race’s statement on the song:
Addiction and subsequent snapshots of early sobriety are central themes of this record. While most of those instances are from my perspective as a recovering addict, “Tether” is the flip side; it’s the push and pull struggle between an addict and a person that loves them.
I’ve learned one of the most harmful things an addict/alcoholic can do is to disintegrate in front of the people who care about them. I’ve been on both sides of the coin. In these situations, love breeds fear, which breeds frustration; helplessness breeds rage, and then rage breeds contempt. We try everything: we try boundaries, begging, or bargaining, but eventually we learn that the only person who can save an addict is themselves. There is no language to convince someone to get better. There is no ace-in-the-hole consequence one can enact.
Hopefully, the afflicted people in our lives that we are so intrinsically tied to are as lucky as I have been and find a route to recovery. The painful truth is that if they don’t, eventually we may have to learn to let go – we may need to loose the tether between us so that both of us aren’t pulled under. That is a deeply tragic notion, but there is also a complicated catharsis in knowing and accepting that a situation like this is out of our control.
Hear “Tether” below along with last month’s “A Seat At The Table.”
Vital Return is out 8/18 on Good Eye.