Typically, songs that show up on 7-inches and splits tend to be leftovers, tracks that wouldn’t really fit in anywhere else. They don’t usually have any thematic follow-through, but up-and-coming Atlanta band Microwave took the time to come up with one. For their upcoming split with Buffalo’s Head North, they made their two tracks feel like extensions of the same idea, so that even their song titles act as a single thought. Last month, the band shared “but not often,” a song about addiction and enabling things that you know are bad for you. Today comes the A-side — “Thinking of you,” — that takes on faith and how an over-reliance on it can lead to unhappiness and all of the bad attitudes exhibited on the B-side. The pull of these two songs next to each other may distract on a longer release, but they feel right at home side-by-side.
Appropriately, “but not often” feels quick and concise — an easy hit — while “Thinking of you,” sprawls out with existential dread. It’s a takedown filled with fury and scorn at the thought of being indoctrinated into a belief system that simultaneously manages to put you down and discourages you from seeking proper outlets for help. Self-medication gets you nowhere; neither will burying your head in a book. God is an imprecise presence: “You ain’t spoke a word for my entire fucking life.” Microwave frontman Nathan Hardy grew up in a strict religious household, and the song is weighed down with the feelings of inadequacy that can come along with that. “Grinding my teeth up under my sheets,” he says of the pressure. It’s a chorus that echoes the other track on the split: “I’ve been wasting all my time,” he sings on that one — both detail bad habits that need fixing, and they’re powerful, affirming enough songs that they encourage you to make a change. Listen below.