September 13, 2016

EP: Yours Are the Only Ears - Friendship Porn

Music and art come together on Yours Are the Only Ears' friendship porn.

Our hearts get broken repeatedly, stomped on by old and new lovers, friends, and sometimes even strangers. But in my experience, I’ve broken my own heart more often and recklessly than anyone else; constantly putting myself into situations and relationships I know will end badly. I blame and torture myself for all the things I said or didn’t say, ultimately burying myself in guilt and self-doubt. Yours Are the Only Ears’ new album, friendship porn, covers this territory of heartbreak and the loneliness that comes along with the self-destructive mental chatter and behavior. 

Visual artist and creator of Yours Are the Only Ears, Susannah Culter, describes the album’s inspiration as the melodrama from her teen years, which is precisely what it reminds me of. The first song “Eros” opens up with Cutler’s quietly melancholic vocals singing, “I can’t stop thinking about you / Vandalized my rib cage and / Kissed the walls of my staircase.” Her lyrics send me back to my teenage bedroom where I would stay up until five in the morning, whispering on my sidekick to the boy I thought was “The One.” It’s appropriate that the start of the album also feels like the start of a relationship, that swooning or even obsessive stage of liking someone and the fluctuating emotions that follow. The minimalist songs, with their soft synths and despairing lyrics, intimately illustrate the fickleness of love through time with lines like, “But I am not yours / And you are not mine / I’m sorry I forget that sometimes.” Cutler’s lyrics narrate the deeply relatable internal conflict that comes along with that preliminary infatuation, spiraling down a rabbit’s hole that you dug up yourself. 

In addition to writing all her songs, Cutler also produces the album artwork; each song has its own corresponding artwork that consists of Cutler’s drawings and poetry. Her art, much like her music, is intimate and minimalist, with delicate line quality and subdued, cool hues and tones. It effectively compliments the emotional quality of each song, with the text and imagery of each work conveying the aesthetic of a diary, the confidant of a teen girl going through heartbreak. At the end of the emotional journey, the album’s final artwork displays the growth that comes with the passing of time. The concluding text reads, “Don’t be afraid to be alone sometimes,” a gentle reminder that the most important relationship to nurture is sometimes with yourself.

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Listen to Yours Are the Only Ears on bandcamp.

THIS STAFF POST WAS CONTRIBUTED BY:
Carolina Delgado is an over-sharer and bad whisperer whose primary love language is physical touch. She resides in Margaritaville and is in a long-term relationship with Aubrey Graham. However, her relationship with reality is tenuous at best. She dreams of a day when guac isn’t extra.