“All over the world,” Erin Tobey sighs at the beginning of her new song, the latest we’ve heard from the Bloomington, IN-based musician’s upcoming full-length, Middlemaze. “People are settling for and in places where they belong/ And don’t belong/ Right and wrong.” It’s a decidedly wishy-washy sentiment, reflective of the song’s over-arching narrative about how much of life is outside of our control, how much we’re trapped by circumstance or own anxieties and fears, but how we can make the most out of what we have. After encouraging the subject of the song to “go anywhere,” Tobey says of herself: “I will stay here, in isolation/ I’ll struggle against my own sense of frustration.” Instead of sagging under the weight of pressure, the song sounds free to put down roots. Tobey explains to She Shreds magazine:
In writing this song, I was thinking about how when friends move away I sometimes question my very deliberate decision to stay [in Bloomington]. I could go anywhere! Why here? I don’t know if it’s so much about abandoning dreams as it is abandoning the illusion that life is necessarily more fulfilling somewhere else. If you have a restless brain and heart, maybe nowhere will be good enough. There’s something really empowering to me about deciding to commit to a place and establishing a home. Your dreams can grow naturally if you plant them somewhere good.
Middlemaze is out 6/3 via Let’s Pretend Records.