alt. – nothingwithoutyou (New Music)

Those lowercase bandits alt. are back with another banger.  “nothingwithoutyou” captures an emotional experience for vocalist Dan Richards, and takes the listener within that moment with him with ease.

Clean and conversational from the start, “nothingwithoutyou” is easy to sink into, courtesy of buoyant guitar melodies floating by and gentle vocals. A buzzing and grinding guitar hum sets a tone that something not going to end well here.

After a first listen without context, I learned that the title and lyrics capture a moment in time where someone literally said “My life means nothing without you”.  Not to be taken on surface level, the words have come in a circumstance that seems like emotional abuse; the kind where control is exerted in any way it can be found. For the emotionally abusive, their grasp via suicidal love or unending harm are entwined tools in their arsenal of control.

“The devil inside you is raging in me”

With this context understood, the song serves as a beautiful capture of something challenging, running through the broad emotional states in the process. It then has the bridge offer up as a turning point, where they take stock of what’s happening and the strength they need to leave comes to life. Or perhaps this is just my wishful thinking..

It was only after taking “nothingwithoutyou” in that I realised I hadn’t focused sharply upon the instrumentation. But it had felt like I was present and moving through the story along with the band, and nothing pulled me out of that experience. With repeat listens, I appreciate the sensual vibe of the track, its bassy darkness, its melodic glimmers of hope, its pop-esque polish that comes tinged with angular sweeps of guitar, and the skillful changing emotional expression through the vocals.

I enjoyed my experience with “nothingwithoutyou” from first listen, and it continues to offer more with each revisit. Well worth 4 minutes of immersing in this beauty, whether you’ve lived in the grips of something like this or not.


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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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