Deriving their name from the TV term for a specific sitcom episode that discusses heavy and/or more serious topics relative to the typical content of a broadcast network sitcom, the New York-based indie act A Very Special Episode was founded by its primary songwriting duo and core members Kasey Heiser (vocals) and Patrick Porter (guitar) back in 2016, and despite a series of lineup changes throughout their short history, Heiser and Porter have cited television — particularly sitcoms — as influencing some of the thematic concerns of their work. Sonically though, their sound draws from shoegaze, post-punk and 90s alt rock while centered around Haiser’s powerhouse vocals and enormous, arena friendly hooks.
The band’s debut effort Censored Dreams was drawn from a series of home recordings, written over the course of several years, inspired by their own personal lives, including being artists struggling with the tedium of day jobs, personal and romantic relationships, Internet drama and many of the frustrations of daily life. So far 2018 has proven to be a big year for the band: they signed to Knuckle Down Records in April, and their sophomore EP Cut For Time was officially released today — and interestingly enough, the band’s new EP reportedly finds the band shifting towards a faster and more aggressive tempo while still retaining the atmospherics and intricate guitar work of their previously released material. As the duo explain in press notes, “The goal of the EP was to create definitive versions of several of our songs that started as bedroom demos, along with a couple new ones.”
Featuring an arrangement of enormous, arena rock power chords played through feedback, delay and other effects pedals, thundering drumming, heavily down-tuned bass, equally enormous arena rock meets pop hooks — but while ensuring that Heiser’s attention-grabbing, power house vocals are at the forefront. Sonically, the song seems to find the band drawing from Paramore, My Vitriol, My Bloody Valentine and others simultaneously — but with a modern and incredibly self-assured take. As the band mentions “Gravity” is one of their oldest songs, and is among the first they’ve written, and while largely inspired by Stranger Things, the EP version is played with a faster tempo and higher, cleaner production value — while thematically, focusing on directly experiencing the paranormal.
Shot and directed by Emma Shalaway, the recently releaysed video further emphasizes the paranormal — and perhaps paranoid — vibes of the song, as it focuses on the existence of parallel yet strangely similar universes, and the subtle yet gnawing sense that we’ve experienced something inexplicably odd yet can’t quite put to words.