June 12, 2014

EP: Boosegumps - LEAVE ME ALONE

It's okay if you can't dive.

The summer after fourth grade, I joined the dive team at a local pool. This doesn't make much sense in retrospect considering that I didn't know anyone on the team, I rarely talked during practices and I couldn't really make friends. And, most importantly, I didn't know how to dive. While everyone else perfected their backflips and reverses, I hung out by myself in the corner of the diving well, trying to figure out how to master a basic dive off a stack of mats, usually cannonballing face­first, over and over again. I've never remembered that summer fondly, then I heard "I CANT DIVE" off Boosegumps' first EP, LEAVE ME ALONE.

Boosegumps is Heeyoon Won, who also plays in the Philly­ based trio Secret Mountain, and her lo-­fi acoustic songs almost sound like they aren't meant for anyone else. They're quiet and filled with nostalgia for someone who moved away, hometown pride, and appreciation for apple pie. I can't help but picture myself in every single one of these songs. She sings about her persnickety cat on "CHARLIE", which reminds me of my own cat, who only likes me when I'm opening a bag of treats. On "ALL THE TIME" she says, "I feel so stupid lonely / I wish things could be lovely," which reminds me of days I've spent holed up in my room, and I realize how often I write about feeling sad. And, of course, there's the anxious self-deprecation of "I CANT DIVE".  There's comfort in those first few notes and it feels strangely nice to know that someone else shared such a specific insecurity. Throughout LEAVE ME ALONE, Heeyoon captures one of the most magical things about such honest music: the awareness that, no matter how weird you're feeling, there's always someone else out there who feels the same.


Listen to Boosegumps on bandcamp.

Caroline Rayner, who likes getting tattoos and cutting up old magazines and driving long distances and baking cookies. She also writes things for Tiny Mix Tapes and, when she remembers, her blog.