When last we heard from Brooklyn-based trio Big Bliss, they were releasing their excellent 2018 debut, At Middle Distance. To put it mildly, some stuff happened between then and now that delayed their follow-up and certainly inspired it along the way.
Today, we’re happy to share “Tether,” the latest offering from Big Bliss’ second LP, Vital Return. The sparkling track locks right into gear from the outset as buzzing guitars and booming drums head into a sort of sway that underlies the song’s push/pull themes. It’s an arresting piece of life-affirming post-punk, and charts Big Bliss’ development as a band to watch.
“Tether” details Tim’s path in recovery:
Addiction and subsequent snapshots of early sobriety are central themes of this record. While most of those instances are from my perspective as a recovering addict, “Tether” is the flip side; it’s the push and pull struggle between an addict and a person that loves them.
I’ve learned one of the most harmful things an addict/alcoholic can do is to disintegrate in front of the people who care about them. I’ve been on both sides of the coin. In these situations, love breeds fear, which breeds frustration; helplessness breeds rage, and then rage breeds contempt. We try everything: we try boundaries, begging, or bargaining, but eventually we learn that the only person who can save an addict is themselves. There is no language to convince someone to get better. There is no ace-in-the-hole consequence one can enact.
Hopefully, the afflicted people in our lives that we are so intrinsically tied to are as lucky as I have been and find a route to recovery. The painful truth is that if they don’t, eventually we may have to learn to let go – we may need to loose the tether between us so that both of us aren’t pulled under. That is a deeply tragic notion, but there is also a complicated catharsis in knowing and accepting that a situation like this is out of our control.
Listen to Big Bliss’ “Tether” below and pre-order Vital Return, out August 18th via Good Eye Records, here.