SISTER GROTTO "Blindside" (Heavy Mess)

 Heavy fucking mess indeed. “Blindside is ‘a love song for an absent lover.’ Blindside is about internalizing new feelings of loss.” I sit here, staring bleakly straight ahead, listening to this two-track sack of metaphorical cinderblocks resting on my shoulders, slowly drooping ever closer to my keyboard. I think my eyes are rimmed red from weeping uncontrollably. Is that what I’ve been doing for thirty-seven minutes? God, I think I would’ve remembered that.

Deep breath, then, because this Sister Grotto tape on Braeyden Jae’s Heavy Mess is an emotional black hole that will not let you escape. You are powerless against the winsome and melancholy chords, and Madeline Johnston’s voice coos gently over the whole thing, intoning four vague lines, twelve words total (nine if you don’t count the repeated line). Yet the understatement acts to amplify universality of the feelings. Love? Loss? Jesus, we all get that. Why, then, is “Blindside” such an exact representation of these two sentiments? Who are we loving? Who are we losing? The music makes the answers “Everyone” and “Everyone,” and if you’re on the other side of it, get ready, you won’t make it out of this tape unscathed.

Side B features “Blindside (Drone),” a version of side A that cloaks the piano in hazy effects, softening the blow somewhat with its shoegazey/ambient wistfulness. Nah, forget it, it’s still choking me up. Dammit, gotta get a new box of tissues.

--Ryan Masteller