Today, bicoastal indie-pop duo EXES and LA-based synthpop duo JOME officially announce their collaborative EP Nothing’s Out To Get You slated for release on March 8th. In anticipation, on Wednesday they premiered their second new single “Stay Still”with Atwood Magazine; a powerful ode to the feelings surrounding love, loss, and tragedy.
About the new track, Allie McDonald of EXES comments: “‘Stay Still’ was the first song we all wrote together while on our writing trip in Marin. Jesse had a copy of Joan Didion’s ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ and began reading excerpts out loud to all of us. We instantly felt a deep emotional connection to her words and thoughts about grief and loss as we all have experienced this in some way or another. In one excerpt in particular, Didion discusses the devastation that follows months after everything returns to normal. The days are passing, the world is spinning and she lays completely still, believing that her husband has not passed away—in fact, he is lying next to her. She even keeps his boots in the closet just in case he needs them when he returns. ‘Everybody tells you that it’s something you get used to’ was one of the first lines we wrote. Time was a crucial element, lyrically for us. We were inspired by this sort of in between grief. The feeling that lingers months, and even years after immediate loss. The feeling of release—the slip that happens when for a brief, dreamlike moment you forget that he is gone.”
“Stay Still” is the second single from the collaboration EP featuring duos EXES and JOME and follows the release of “One Day” with Live Nation’s Ones To Watch late last year, which was featured on a number of Spotify’s New Music Friday playlists. EXES is composed of Brooklyn-based Allie McDonald and Venice beach-based producer Mike Derenzo, while JOME is made up of LA-based songwriter Jesse Epstein and New Orleans-based writer and producer Christoph Andersson. The four writers and producers retreated to Marin County in Northern California in October 2018 to write a collection of meaningful songs together, documenting the entire trip by taking polaroids. This collaboration of artists has resulted in a diary-like, happy-sad kind of musical moment – all created while in their living room-turned-studio, hanging with Mike’s dog Bella. While the lyrics hint at dark themes of death and loss, the production highlights an element of hope with a soaring and cinematic instrumental. Their previous collaboration resulted in the 2017 single “Better Better” which garnered over 500,000 streams across platforms.
EXES create a detail-oriented sort of indie pop driven by post-youth nostalgia and the people of their past; equal parts affectionate and vulnerable in production, lyrics, and melody. EXES’ critically acclaimed 2016 debut EP The Art of Saying Goodbye garnered over 25 million streams across platforms and was covered by the likes of i-D, USA Today, Galore, and more. EXES most recent EP, Before You Go, has received praise from the likes of Billboard, Refinery29, and BlackBook, among many others, and their songs have been featured on ABC’s drama Quantico, Netflix’s re-boot of the fan favoriteDegrassi, and the UK’s BAFTA winning Made In Chelsea. They’ve had multiple singles chart on Hype Machine’s Top 10 and have been featured on Taylor Swift’s “Songs Taylor Loves”, along with being featured on Spotify playlists such as New Music Friday, Indie Pop, and Chill Vibes. Over the course of their career, they’ve amassed over 45 million Spotify streams and the band has opened for the likes of Børns and Ella Vos. JOME split their time between LA and NOLA, creating their unique brand of heartbreaking yet optimistic indie pop, and they’ve been featured in numerous television shows while amassing over 20 million streams on their first album, Tunnels.