Album Review: Tearjerker - Really Into You

The woozy Canadian trio Tearjerker have been known to go for extended periods of time without releasing new music, so it came as quite a surprise to see they were following up last year’s Stay Wild LP with a new EP—Really Into You —a four track, self-contained song cycle that seems to chart the slow demise of a relationship.

All the trademark elements of Tearjerker’s previous output are present and accounted for on Really Into You—the band maintains a true lo-fi aesthetic, and with each subsequent release since I discovered the band around five years ago, they continue to develop new ways to include additional atmospheric layers into each song—e.g.: the ever present background murk, tucked just behind the guitar, bass, and crisp drumming, on the EP’s titular track.

And it’s that background murk, as well as Tearjerker frontman Micah Bonte-Gelok’s distant and nearly whispered vocals, that make Really Into You the kind of effort best experienced through headphones or on a stereo in a very intimate setting.

On the band’s Facebook page, they describe the EP’s title track as a song about “not being afraid to say ‘I love you.’” It’s that kind of nervy emotion that runs throughout all four songs.

I’m really into you,” he pleads—before following it up with a slightly desperate, “Hey—you’re gonna fall in love with someone else if I don’t sayyou’re gonna fall in love with someone else if I wait.” Then, later, on “Living or the Dead,” it’s a simple, slightly mumbled, “I’d like to get to know you.”

Things begin to deteriorate on the EP’s second half with the driving, unrelenting rhythm and nearly panicked sounding lyrics of “Next Address,” and the outcome of this attempted relationship should be obvious by the title of the effort’s closing track—“Said Goodbye.”

The songs on Really Into You dial back a bit of the more straightforward, pop oriented song structure Tearjerker were headed on Stay Wild. Here, yes, the songs are still accessible, marginally catchy, and hook based—but the focus is more on the cohesive theme of the effort as a whole.

Concept albums are always a bit of a gamble—and the stakes are a little higher within a four-song EP, but Tearjerker have successfully pulled off an interesting experiment. On Really Into You, they lyrically tap into an adolescent confusion and angst, while adding depth and warmth to their fuzzy, swooning, lo-fi sound. 

Really Into You is out now as a digital download, as well as on cassette.