Following the release of their self-titled debut EP last year, Bay Area trio Sour Widows are releasing a new EP called Crossing Over on April 23 via Exploding in Sound. This week they’ve shared a new song from it called “Bathroom Stall”, which has quite a hefty backstory, as singer Maia Sinaiko reveals:
“This song is about a relationship I had with someone who struggled with addiction, who very tragically passed away three years ago while we were together. It’s about some moments we shared, and how it feels to walk around carrying that person and those experiences with me while the world stays normal. I wrote the song because I wanted to preserve and document what happened to me, to write out the scary stuff and just let it sit there forever. I think it’s funny that it’s called ‘Bathroom Stall’ and that it has that image in it; the song goes from heavy and dark to ordinary and totally pedestrian in a sentence, which feels absurd. And that’s kind of what it’s like to grieve. That’s kind of what’s hard to explain about grief, how absurd it is. Part of you goes to a different planet and part of you stays walking around like an alien on Earth, going to the bathroom and looking at the moon and shit.”
“Bathroom Stall” begins sweetly, whispering drums and spindly acoustic creating a warm folk atmosphere, and it could easily be mistaken for a love song when Sinaiko begins “I clean up your room / I keep it nice for you.” Sour Widows are patient in their sonic build, working in tandem with Sinaiko’s slowly growing concerns: “I can’t keep track of you / I wait for a sign that you’ll come home soon.” These neuroses begin to coil and curdle, and Sinaiko’s vocals are harmonised to fully express the love and worry when they sing “Do I feel like I would if the house were on fire?” They can’t keep out the horrible memories for much longer, stuck in recollections of overdoses and frantically trying to shove their fingers down their friend’s throat. It’s only a matter of time before Sinaiko’s fears manifest as a burning pyre of emotion, and Sour Widows’ patience pays off as they enter the final minute with force, reflecting their singer’s piercing and excoriating grief.