The heavy dream-pop / indie rock band Bolinas have released a new single, “U.L.B”, from their forthcoming debut full length album Heavy Easy Listening out October 7th, 2022 via Sub Rosa Selects. The single and the album as a whole that it comes from does exactly what it says on the label – the heaviness and intensity of harder-edged shoegaze and emo styles married with sticky pop melodies and streamlined song structures that make it all go down smoothly.
The track title, “U.L.B”, is an acronym for “Unnecessary Last Beer”, a term Bolinas lead vocalist and songwriter Chris Thomas picked up and used often while bartending in Los Angeles. The song was written after a night where he fell victim to the “U.L.B.” phenomenon himself, reflecting on his tendency towards self destructive behaviors and distant romantic relationships where “It seemed safer to not put too much into a relationship when I could just wind up getting hurt.” Inspired by a conversation he had in the bar that night with a Icelandic couple who taught him the expression “running off your horns” (essentially the nordic version of “sowing your wild oats”) Chris realized that maybe it was time for him to move on on from this self-destructive phase and settle down a little – both in his romantic life and in his consumption of Unnecessary Last Beers.
The release of “U.L.B” is accompanied by a music video for the song that plays with tropes from found footage horror movies, with band members Chris and Ian out on a nature hike that quickly goes wrong, as their selfie videos are constantly intercut with brief flashes of grainy VHS footage and a mysterious hooded figure, growing more ominous as day turns to night.
“U.L.B.” is one of the songs on Heavy Easy Listening that utilizes two different drummers on the same track (Joey Anderson of Hunny and Ian Dobyns of Dreamgirl), giving the track a strong sense of dynamics as the more dreamy feel of the verses explodes into the track’s chorus, the space seeming to open up as Chris’s voice shifts into a more passionate delivery. Describing why he chose the song as a single, Chris says that “U.L.B” “best represents the place I’m in now. Wanting to be a better partner, better friend, and really be worthy of someone’s trust and commitment. It’s also a reminder to put your best foot forward and not just settle for second best for fear of being hurt.”
Photo Courtesy: Amanda Laferriere