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Band Of The Week // THECITYISOURS

Heart-wrenching and emotionally gripping, COMA is the unfiltered sophomore album from THECITYISOURS.

THECITYISOURS

Photo: Oli Duncanson

When we’re in a deep place of pain and vulnerability, it can lead to the creation of our deepest and most visceral art; that’s exactly what arises from COMA, the sophomore album from THECITYISOURS. It’s a piece of art born from loss, whether of personal relations in our life or of the control we feel we had, and the very raw nature of such emotions lends itself to COMA being an intensely honest yet cathartic offering. Hidden within the crushing riffs and the pained vocals is a glimmer of resilience and hope, one that will push you through and see you hanging onto the words of the album as if they were a lifejacket.

From opening Does It Keep You Up?, it’s clear that the band are delving into feelings that are uncomfortable but necessitates address. Directly confronting with the question, ‘does it keep you up?’, there’s nowhere to hide from your inner demons and anxious thoughts. But just as the band forces you to confront and reckon with them, the support and solidarity provided through their hard-hitting sound will make you realise that you are stronger than you think, and help you realise that you are able to push back. Title track COMA does exactly what it says on the tin, exploring the dark musings that linger around the shadowed edges of our mind. With an unflinching attitude throughout, the album combines intensely personal songwriting with headbang-inducing sounds to deliver a body of work that will stick with you for a while to come.

Feeling moved by the album, we further chatted with their bassist, Jamie Deeks, about what this new chapter means for them.

What’s a motto you live by?

The motto I live by is ‘This too shall pass.’ I think in a world ruled by anxiety and depression – especially in the current state of everything – it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, difficult to remember that things get better, but everything passes, good and bad, and it’s important to try and remember that for when times get tough, as well as when you’re in the good moments, so you can enjoy them to the fullest extent.

If your sound had a colour, what colour would it be?

I think we’d be a dark purple. Although a lot of our music has an aggressive edge to it which I would consider a red colour, it comes from a place of hurt mainly – blue. So purple to me is somewhere in the middle of this, and the balance that we usually end up in.

If you could set COMA to a TV show or movie, what would it be the soundtrack for?

Oh, this is a really difficult question! Probably something like ‘Squid Game’ because it’s in the forefront of my mind (and I’ve absolutely loved watching it!). I think the show balances aggression and hard to face subjects, with beautiful aesthetics and really emotional moments. It mirrors our music in a way, we have these dark themes hidden behind a more ‘pop’ style of metal, and then we have more aggressive points in the music and emotional hitters throughout.

COMA seems to be quite a cathartic album in the way it tackles heavy topics but finds an element of optimism within; what’s the most cathartic moment on the album for you?

Personally Barely Alive, the lyrics were written at a time where I was mentally at one of my lowest points and didn’t know how to get out of it. By putting some of those thoughts into the song, it helped me to get it off my chest. Though cliché, music really is a great form of expression and therapy, and I really felt it writing that song.

What helps you find resilience amongst the situations you sing about?

I don’t know if we do, I would argue that the things we sing about stay with us for a long time. Sometimes we get them down into the song and it’s a release and we can almost move on, other times it helps but the scars still remain. I feel like our music is totally raw and unfiltered, and COMA is far from an exception to this.

What was the most unexpected difficulty that you encountered with making the album?

We began recording the album a couple weeks before COVID really hit and we all went into lockdown. The struggle of finding blocks of time coming in and out of lockdowns to finish it off, and shoot music videos was really complicated and definitely put the process back a bit. When we’re recording we’re in this tiny little bubble, doing long hours and hardly leaving the studio, so we had no clue how serious COVID was until we returned home. Not being able to get toilet roll upon our return, was certainly unexpected.

What does COMA mean for the band?

COMA is a way of releasing our inner emotions pent up over the last two years. We’ve been through a lot as a band and individuals, and it’s a way to bring the listener through that journey, with hope that they can find something in the music to help them through their own path.

And finally, slightly cliché but what does music mean to you?

Music is everything. It’s our friend, it’s our therapist, it’s our enemy, It’s just everything. It’s the reason so many people connect all over the world from different backgrounds. It transcends languages and differences amongst people, and brings them together. Without music what kind of world would it be?