Alt.: Diving Deep Into ‘Dysfunctional’

Adelaide’s alt. released their debut EP dysfunctional today! If you missed our review, there were plenty of curiosities and questions about the meanings of the song as well as some of the lyrics.  Vocalist and lyricist Dan Richards kindly gave us the lowdown on everything dysfunctional, sharing insight about each song, as well as the inspiration behind the EP.


“For years our government has made decisions that negatively impact our country and planet and it’s all based on their own greed, power and self entitlement. This song is just trying to put encouragement out there to those who actually do care to keep fighting it, keep standing up for what we believe in and protect our future.”


“”pariah” is a song about how my whole life I’ve considered myself of Christian faith. When my uncle passed, my opinions and outlooks changed, and it has left me in a state of not really knowing what I believe anymore. “pariah” is me tackling those thoughts and emotions.”



“”s.a.d” is written about loving someone who loves you too, but you cannot be with them. You think about them all the time. They become apart of you. You know that you are all they have too. Because you can’t be with them, they don’t believe how you feel, but you are showing them the signs, showing them the reasons, and how much it is killing you.”

chasing safety

“”chasing safety”” is about having to watch from the outside when someone you care about is stuck in an awful situation and you feel desperate to rescue them. The message in “chasing safety” is that no matter how hopeless a situation feels, there will always be someone to support you and care about keeping you out of harm, and the hope that we can all get through the fear of reaching out and accept help when we don’t feel safe.

“Creating this one was interesting and we even considered not recording it. We initially wrote this song with Chris Lalic (Windwaker), but we wrote a lot of great songs together and felt like we came to a bit of a roadblock with this one. While in recording, we sent the song off to Zach Britt (Young Lions, Dream on Dreamer) to see what he could do with it, and the way he reworked it instantly set it as a favourite. The song was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Callan Orr (Dream on Dreamer). The recording process with Callan was seamless and we couldn’t be happier with the quality he’s produced. 

“We really wanted to make it work as a single because “chasing safety” had some really cool elements to it that stand out compared to the other songs on the EP. It became quite important in hindsight, seeing as the whole EP is about stories and experiences of the last year and a half, so not having this song would be leaving out a chunk from that timeframe.”



“”nothingwithoutyou” was written about the moment I realized my relationship needed to end. I felt isolated, not wanted, and was stuck in a state of limbo. But when it came down to ending the relationship, I was told I meant everything to them which confused me after being treated the way I was. I found comfort in another and then had to tackle the hatred I felt for myself being someone I never thought I was.”

smoke signals

“”smoke signals” is written about a partner who won’t let you be happy. You can’t enjoy life because they can’t. They don’t want to hear that you’re hurting, as they are hurting more. Your thoughts and feelings don’t matter. You’ve been pushed aside and brought in when it’s convenient. You try and tell them how you feel as you can’t take it anymore, but they don’t want to know about it.”


“”affinity” is about building that special bond with someone; you make your mark and they make theirs. Setting yourself up for that next step that you cannot take. You make your home, but you must live in the shed. This is your person, this is it, but you do not have the strength to do what must be done; to pull the trigger and be with them. Then you make the decision. You pull the trigger and leave the person who has made you feel drowned for so long and be with person who makes you happy – and you are not going to let them go.”


“The EP is titled dysfunctional because that’s what that year was for me; it was the worst and best year of my life. I lost family, I lost jobs, I lost respect for our leaders and my faith. I had to end a relationship with someone I was with for five years. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but the best thing I have ever done. I hate myself for how I did it but I would never change the outcome. I met my soulmate, and she has brightened my life. Those days when I couldn’t be with her were the saddest I have ever felt. Both of us coming from toxic relationships, we found each other and are creating something beautiful.

“My thoughts, feelings and overall life was erratic. A roller coaster of emotions and events, I can’t even describe, and I can’t even begin to talk about it without contradicting myself. This is dysfunctional.”

Listen to dysfunctional now:


Kel Burch

Creator and caretaker of Depth Mag, Kel uses her superpowers of empathy, word-weaving, and feeling everything deeply, to immerse herself in music before returning to reality to write about her experience with it. [Loved the read? Shout Kel a latte.]

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