Los Angeles-based four-piece Mamalarky are back with another preview of their forthcoming sophomore album Pocket Fantasy, coming Sept. 30 on Fire Talk. The latest single from the band’s follow-up to their 2020 self-titled debut, “It Hurts” follows “Mythical Bonds” (which found a fan in David Byrne) and “You Know I Know.”
Where its predecessors were bright and electric guitar-driven, “It Hurts” is more gentle and contemplative, with flowery keys and finger-plucked acoustic guitar adorning its placid percussion. Livvy Bennett is caught between romantic longing and self-conscious meta-criticism, crooning, “I know it’s bad timing but I need you very badly / And it seems that you can’t give that much,” only to catch herself: “I’m capitalizing off of my own emotion / It’s something that I do too well.” Amid the song’s soft psychedelia, Bennett finally confronts the reality of having suspended her heartache in amber—the thought that “It Hurts” will outlive the breaking bond that inspired it—singing, “I will exist only as sound to you.”
“Writing about this song in this context feels extremely meta because the song itself picks at what it’s like as a musician to essentially be careerizing your own experiences and emotions,” Bennett explains in a statement, continuing:
It’s pretty bizarre to put out shit that is so personal—like, when someone loves a sad song you wrote it’s like … I’m sorry we’ve been down in the same way? Or, I’m glad you enjoy listening to something that was essentially an intervention that I needed to have, haha.
“It Hurts” is also a bit about the one-sided narrative of songwriters writing about their lives and relationships, for that to exist out there forever and to be consumed by people who only know the song. I’m always left wondering about the other side of the story when I hear those epic heartbreak songs, we’ll just never know.
There’s one line about being “a poorly drawn caricature,” which is what it can feel like having any of your music deciphered by anyone. The goal is to draw a really moving, poignant portrait though and I feel closer to doing that with every song we put out.
Watch Mamalarky’s self-directed “It Hurts” video (and 2022 Paste session) below. You’ll find their tour dates further down.
Mamalarky Tour Dates:
29 – Phoenix, AZ @ Trunk Space
30 – San Diego, CA @ Public Square
01 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
02 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
04 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
06 – Sacramento, CA @ The Starlet Room
07 – Reno, NV @ Off Beat Music Festival
09 – Portland, OR @ Polaris Hall
10 – Seattle, WA @ Vera Project
13 – Fort Colins, CO @ The Coast
14 – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
01 – Asheville, NC @ Static Age
02 – Nashville, TN @ DRKMTTR
03 – Richmond, VA @ Get Tight
04 – Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong
05 – Philadelphia, PA @ Silk City
06 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right
07 – Boston, MA @ O’Briens
08 – Montreal, QC @ Brasserie Beaubien
09 – Toronto, ON @ The Baby G
11 – Fort Wayne, IN @ The Brass Rail
12 – Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s
13 – St. Louis, MO @ the Sinkhole
15 – Athens, GA @ Flicker Bar
16 – Atlanta, GA @ 529