Stream Fake Boyfriend Mercy EP (Stereogum Premiere)

Every track on Fake Boyfriend’s debut EP is seething with different shades of the same anger. In an email, the trio’s Abi Reimold explained that the songs “are about giving in to your feelings and learning how to forgive yourself,” and serve as a “retaliation against the preconceived notions of how women are supposed to behave and process emotions.” That interplay between expectations and desire and reality is what provides Mercy with its irresistible spark. Whether the Philadelphia band are raging to push away a potential relationship out of fear of whatever emotions it may dredge up (“I don’t want to be this way!” versus a non-commital “I don’t like you/ No way” on “Ship”) or singing sticky choruses that beg for rekindling after some time has passed — “If it seems like I’ve gotten better, will you look at me then? If I write you another letter, will you respond to it?” — they have one goal in mind: Be in touch with your own emotions; don’t compromise — unless that’s what you need to get through it. They save the most piercing track for the end with “Expired,” which comes with a gloomy invitation into the hells of adulthood: “Welcome to the real world: carnage and creepers/ All the dreams you had as a girl, consider expired.” Four variations on a theme, four perfect songs to soundtrack your darkest moments from a promising young band. Listen below.

Fake Boyfriend’s Mercy EP is out now via Milk Beard Records/Covered Bridge Cassettes/Sad Cactus Records. You can order a tape here or download it digitally here.

The EP release show is at PhilaMOCA on Friday (2/26) with Lady Parts, Secret Mountain, and Shannen Moser — details here.