Blunt Chunks Wrestles with Expectation on "High Hopes"

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BY Megan LaPierrePublished Mar 6, 2024

Expectation will be the death of me. I think I've known this for a while; whether it's what I unconsciously find myself expecting of others or what I'm convinced that they expect of me, the underlying anxiety feeds a simmering anger about how none of us can meet them. Blunt Chunks — the project of Toronto singer-songwriter Caitlin Woelfle-O'Brien — captures the way nervous trepidation morphs into being mad about the smallest stuff. But it's the principle! If he didn't ask about my day, does he even care if I live or die?

Atop a laidback, sauntering alt-rock bedrock that gradually finds more and more jazzy flourishes, Woelfe-O'Brien sings, "In the morning I was loving you / Now I'm just angry," with increasing fervour, traversing the spectrum from withdrawn to exasperated. "High Hopes" is teeming with texture, with producer David Plowman deftly playing with taking up sonic space in a gradual way to reflect the way thoughts spiral. It's the kind of song that feels like an understanding friend's hand on your shoulder, both validating the pain and bringing you back into the moment.

(Telephone Explosion)

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