March 18, 2015

EP: reticular - Alanna McArdle

Alanna McArdle's bedroom recordings provide comfort in times of healing.

I often find myself listening to reticular while I'm getting dressed in the morning. I don't know why. My boyfriend used to ask how many dresses I'd try on before choosing one, teasing me for obsessive indecision. But he's not my boyfriend anymore, and he doesn't live with me anymore. I'm still getting used to being alone. Waking up alone, going to sleep alone, everything. Listening to reticular helps.

Alanna McArdle, who also sings in Joanna Gruesome, describes reticular as "written and recorded in bedrooms." When I listen to these five songs, I try to picture those rooms. Hardwood and cream with little windows. Spacious and spare, just like the songs themselves. Alanna reminds me that solitude can foster meditation and understanding and transcendence. I carry her lyrics with me everywhere, as reminders of how to move on and keep going. On "You're a Disease", she sings, "It's in your blood, so it's okay if you hate it, but passing it on isn't my fault, so don't hate me." I think about forgiveness and self-preservation, how it's so important to learn both, especially in times of healing. On "Snow," Alanna sings, "My love for you is endless, make sure to remind me how I can get through the night, it's alright." I feel better about wanting to make sure everything is okay before it's really over, before my ex and I leave our city behind for totally different places. There is lightness and perseverance inherent to each of these songs, as well as a quiet kind of wisdom. Every day I am figuring out how to grow in order fill all of these new empty spaces, and reticular is perfect for these unfamiliar moments.


Listen to Alanna McArdle 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.