Laura Stevenson kicked off the news of her new album Cocksure (still such a great title) with “Torch Song,” a carefree track that belies its moody name. The follow up, “Jellyfish,” is full of the same volatile, bright aggression, floating along on her soft-spun alto and a churn of apathy. “I’m fucking hideous and spiteful / When I’m left to my own devices,” she sings to open up the song, bleeding honesty and self-loathing into a melody that suggests there’s plenty of beautiful things inside her, too. Gradually, you’ll notice that the people who are willing to admit that they’re fuck-ups are full of a lot more grace than those who insist on keeping their facade intact. Between the tentacles references and recurring “being a piece of shit” hook, there’s the kind of emotional energy, jangled guitars and narrative cohesion that made the Hold Steady a beloved band. Listen below.
Cocksure is out on 10/30 via Don Giovanni Records. Pre-order it here.