Photo by Allison Newbold | allynewbold.com
Philadelphia-bred emo/pop-punk outfit Marietta are broken, bruised, and brutally honest about it on their newly released debut album Summer Death which brings to mind titans of the genre, Taking Back Sunday and The Early November. They waste no time getting to the point of how they really feel. Nobody likes to be left and these guys are no exception, a point made clear on the opening track “…so they left me at a gas station” as Evan Lescallette (guitar, vocals) and Ethan Willard (guitar, vocals) sing: “so have I been forgotten?/oh yeah, I’ve been forgotten/I don’t see the silver lining, I give up on trying”. This refrain is repeated multiple times with added aggression over the quiet guitar riff and loud drums.
Downhearted and resigned, the band continues onto a “cinco de mayo sh*t show” in which they describe an identity crisis of sorts that creates a divide between emotions. This sentiment is expressed in two contrasting scenarios: “if i wake up and accidentally crawl into your arms, it’s nothing personal/Personhood has always seemed so strange…”if i freak out and crash my f***ing car into your house, of course it’s personal. Personhood has made me feel this way”. It’s as if vulnerability is foreign and makes them feel disembodied, but anger is all they know and therefore all they feel comfortable expressing. Emily Sheerin’s guest vocals on this particular section help to convey this notion. Things don’t get much brighter on the mostly acoustic “you’ve got the map backwards, matt” where the band admits: “oh I am seeing the dreariness of this/oh, i’m believing now that i can’t fix this”.
Midway through the record we find Marietta mourning their fleeting youth as they sing of “neighbors always getting younger, dying off, waiting for winter” (“deck wine”) and “screaming at my skin, ‘please stay younger’” (“chase, i hardly know ya”) over melodic guitar riffs and static drums. On “god bless, eric taylor”, they invite listeners to talk them down from their fear of death: “Come with me, I promise the water is fine/I need something else to convince me I won’t die.” They deliver their most poignant proposition on “ever is a long time (ever is no time at all) as they ponder the worth of good over evil: “I could be a soul to keep/or I could keep on living soullessly.” By album’s end, they confidently express disbelief and “the need to reaffirm with God that I’m none of his concern”.
Ultimately, the raw production quality of Summer Death allows Marietta to shine lyrically and emote effectively on their debut record. Stream it below.