How do you find a way out of grief? Gladie’s Augusta Koch (formerly of the excellent punk band Cayetana) explores the intricacies of loss through indie-pop synths, heart-soaring guitars, and powerfully delivered lyrics that ache with wisdom. The Philadelphia band targets my heart in the same spot as P.S. Eliot and the Mountain Goats, acknowledging that healing is messy, full of wild emotions and contradictions, and often feels worse after it feels better. Cynicism and hope go hand-in-hand on Safe Sins: “The world don’t owe us shit/We’ve been lousy tenants,” she sings on “Pray,” while the anthemic “Twenty Twenty” ends with the admission, “I am angry, I am lonely/But I’m optimistic, too.” It’s a treat to see Koch’s songwriting truly shine. (5/5)
By Robin Edwards
Safe Sins was released February 28, 2020. This article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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