Jun 02, 2021
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Colin Phillips
Later this week indie auteur Simone Istwa returns with their latest EP, Heartweb. Istwa’s latest record follows the “live rock and roll musical” of their 2020 debut LP, 7 Revelation 7, and the self-described “steamy, effeminate, industrial doomsday pop” of their follow-up, the Valentines EP. Ever the restless creative, Istwa’s newest work explores a left-of-center mix of hazy shoegaze, candy-coated DIY bedroom pop, and indie rock.
Fans can listen to the full EP on Friday June 4th, releasing via Rain Phoenix’s LaunchLeft label, but Istwa is now sharing an early taste of the record with their new track “Kiss Everyone,” premiering with Under the Radar.
“Kiss Everyone” quickly lives up to the teenage drama its title hints towards, examining codependent friendships and rocky young relationships over fuzzy indie rock guitar passages. The track’s tension steadily mounts, building high until it spills over for an irresistible pop chorus. There Istwa perfectly captures memories of reckless and messy young relationships as they sing “Kiss everyone/ ‘cause it’s fun and ‘cause you wanna/ Kiss everyone/ Under the sun ‘cause you gotta.”
As Istwa explains, “‘Kiss Everyone,’ originally based on Sophie Day’s photo book by the same name, is about friend group dynamics, feeling hungry for acceptance amongst your peers. Sometimes your friends are the loves of your life and their opinion of you, their willingness to include or prioritize you, is what your entire sense of self, all of your confidence is riding on. And that’s codependency. I set it to this pop punk, Muffs-inspired progression to give it a classically teenaged setting. But that’s an illusion, a fantasy of the past, because we arrive at the lyric: ‘How did I get here, where are the friends that I miss? What’s a nice kid like me doing in a place like this?’”
Check out the song and lyric video below and pre-order the Heartweb EP here, out June 4th on LaunchLeft.