Ohio based alternative pop-punk band Better Anyway recently released their latest EP Low, but Looking Up. The eight months spent working on the EP allowed the band to learn new aspects of the recording and production process firsthand. In addition to this, they also had the opportunity to collaborate with Tyler Albertson, vocalist and bassist in Homesafe, and Kramer Welker, vocalist and guitarist in You vs Yesterday, both of whom have inspired their band. As the title suggests, the theme of the EP shares the relatable place of feeling low, but striving toward getting into a better state of mind. With a total of six tracks, the listener is immersed into this emotional journey of what it feels like to be in that position and shows empathy as they navigate the process of figuring out how to overcome it.
The mixture of emotions in “Stay Away” sets the tone for the rest of the EP, whether it’s feeling the pressure to change and how it weighs you down, or recognizing that you need to work on yourself and create the space to do so, even if it’s uncomfortable. “Afterthought” feels more introspective, as though you’re looking inward and gathering your thoughts trying to pinpoint when exactly things went wrong, leaving you stuck in a place where you can’t help but dwell on the past in such a way that you struggle with moving forward.
“I Can’t Say This to Your Face” slows things down for a moment. As the singer begins listing all of the things that they couldn’t say to someone, it leads the listener to reflect on things they might have wanted to say to someone in their life and struggling with the weight of the things that were left unsaid. Ultimately, sometimes you have to let people go if you really want them to be happy, even if it’s at your own expense. The song starts out soft and slow, gradually building up until there’s less than a minute left and all those feelings explode into a mix of emotions that make you want to cry and scream along. This track was my personal favorite.
“Find You There” felt like a sincere apology given to make up for the person they used to be and acknowledge that they need to make some changes. “Stargazer” was more of an acoustic track, talking about missing someone before they’re gone. You can never really be ready to lose someone you love, but when they eventually have to leave, you’ll have memories of them to hold on to. “Bury Me” is the closing track on the EP and I feel like it almost brings things full circle. Not to come off as overly pessimistic, but throughout life, there’s bound to be moments or periods of time where you feel low, emotionally and mentally. Realistically speaking, these moments are inevitable, unfortunately. However, knowing that growth and progress are attainable are the things that make the future seem a bit brighter.
Overall, the honesty and relatability of these tracks is something I think anyone can relate to. Personally, I really enjoy music that I can have an emotional connection with. Some of my favorite songs are the ones that make me feel understood; even if they make me sad, it’s comforting to know that other people can relate. Low, but Looking Up offers that understanding and reminds us that getting to a better mental and emotional state may not be easy, but it’s possible. Prior to listening to this EP, I hadn’t heard of this band, but I can confidently say that Better Anyway quickly became one of my favorite musical discoveries of 2020 and I’m excited for what their future holds. If they ever come out to southern California, I’ll definitely head to a show, but until then, I’ll be streaming the EP.
Listen to Low, but Looking Up here!
Be sure to check out Better Anyway on their socials to see what they’re up to!
Review by: Cristina Herrera