If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past few years, you may have come across several posts on Wax Idols and you’d likely know that a couple of years have passed since the release of the quartet’s critically applauded effort, Discipline + Desire. Over the past couple of years, the quartet’s frontperson and primary songwriter Hether Fortune spent some time as a touring member of White Lung and then went through a heartbreaking divorce, which manages to inform the bulk of the material on the band’s soon-to-be released effort, American Tragic.
As Fortune has explained in press notes about the album slated for an October 16 release through Collect Records, “this is not an entirely sad album. The whole spectrum of grief is represented here — shock, pain, anger, loneliness, and then finding a way to work through all of that and not only survive, and thrive. That’s what I was going through. I was kind of trying to save myself.” Fortune goes on to explain that with the new effort “the arrangements are deliberately more minimal so that the songs themselves can really shine.” Interestingly, unlike the band’s previous efforts, Fortune initially wrote and recorded every single note on the album and a a result it gives the album’s first single “Lonely You,” and the album’s second and latest single “I’m Not Going,” a deeply personal, autobiographical and downright confessional vision. “I’m Not Going” is a brooding song comprised of twangy guitar chords paired with shimmering synths, Fortune’s husky vocals and four-on-the-floor vocals and its narrator finds herself in a position that any of us, who have been in long-term relationships that have ended would find familiar: desperately trying to piece together the shards of their busted up dreams and hopes together as best as they could. And although mournful, the narrator expresses resilience and resistance; she’s refusing to succumb to hopelessness and despair. Interestingly, the song sonically sound as though it draws heavily from 80s New Wave — think of Concrete Blonde and Siouxsie and the Banshees, as well as Too True-era Dum Dum Girls.