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Cumulus – “Comfort World”

Last month, Alexandra Niedzialkowski released her first new song as Cumulus since the project’s 2013 debut, I Never Meant It To Be Like This. That song, “Retreat,” was a one-off and isn’t included on her new album, but it was indicative of a musician that had spent the five years in between albums fine-tuning her songwriting to a precise degree. That development is also apparent on her upcoming sophomore album, Comfort World, which will be released in the fall.

The album’s title, and the name of its first single, was derived from a billboard for an abandoned mattress store in Yakima, Washington, just a bit outside of Cumulus’ home base in Seattle. “In the moment I saw the sign, I found it reassuring,” Niedzialkowski explains over email. “I thought that ‘Comfort World’ was positive and where I was supposed to be. It wasn’t until months later after the end of my relationship, and being fired from my job, and having life generally just kick me in the ass, that I realized I had become stagnant in the pursuit of my own happiness. I realized that to indulge in the ‘Comfort World’ for too long is to give up, and I’d like to think this album was my catalyst for choosing forward motion.”

“Comfort World,” the song, with its pillowy drums and reassuring, swaying rhythm, mimics that feeling of shutting the whole world out. “Stoned and alone/ Nobody is home/ I don’t even recognize this life anymore/ Waking up and sleeping in with my clothes on the floor,” Niedzialkowski sings. While the song adopts the cocoon-like atmosphere of bottling everything up, it’s apparent that the desire to go back to a comfort world is more out of desperation for the easy way out than necessity. It’s the nadir of depression, when that isolation becomes counterintuitive.

“I clearly remember writing this song, in my basement bedroom, that was basically a pile of clothes and a bed. After a relationship had ended, it was my first time living on my own in 4 years,” she says. “I kept on waking up in the middle of the night just not fully recognizing my surroundings, so I wrote this song to process my confusion. I had to mourn the loss of a previous version of myself and the way I thought life would be. There was always a duality of both wanting to sulk in my sadness, and confront it head on, while also wanting to just be numb and stay in bed all day, stoned and alone.”

Listen to it below.

TRACKLIST:
01 “Sing To Me”
02 “Wake Me”
03 “Comfort World”
04 “Coming Home”
05 “Frozen Steps”
06 “Stereo”
07 “Cannonball”
08 “Tough Crowd”
09 “Lighter”
10 “Light & Sound”
11 “Born In The Dark”

TOUR DATES:
08/18 Seattle, WA @ Mercer x Summit Block Party
08/22 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater^
08/23 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court^
08/24 Boise, ID @ The Olympic^
08/25 Seattle, WA @ Barboza^
08/26 Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios^
08/28 Sacramento, CA @ Harlows^
08/29 Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst^
08/30 San Francisco, CA @ Cafe du Nord^
08/31 Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theater^
09/01 Las Vegas, NV @ The Bunkhouse^
09/02 Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar^
09/04 Albuquerque, NM @ Launch Pad^
09/06 Dallas, TX @ Sundown at Granada^
09/07 Austin, TX @ Stubbs Jr^
09/08 Houston, TX @ Satellite Bar^
09/09 Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th Street OKC^
09/11 Tulsa, OK @ Vanguard^
09/12 Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck^
09/13 Springfield, MO @ Outland Ballroom^
09/14 Columbia, MO @ Cafe Berlin^
09/15 Omaha, NE @ Slowdown^
09/17 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean Downstairs
09/19 Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere Zone 1
09/21 Washington, DC @ Songbyrd Upstairs
^ w/ Bad Bad Hats

Comfort World is out 9/28 via Trans- Records.

Tags: Cumulus