Written by Natasha Heinz
War Stories EP
Although most people say they turn to their favorite artists for relief, music also has a way of making one face feelings they didn’t want to—or weren’t ready for. Staircase Spirits’ new EP, War Stories, does exactly that. There is not one song on this second part of a trilogy about exiting an abusive relationship that leaves listeners untouched. It may be sympathy, distress or anger.
The latter is exactly what the Los Angeles duo, singer Anna Maria and drummer Eva Friedman, were trying to encompass. Do not expect screaming or loud guitars, though. Staircase Spirit never abandons their pop sensibilities, even when Anna Maria repeatedly tells her ex to shut up on “Good Ex-Girlfriend”, the EP’s first single. When she’s that mad, she resembles Amanda Palmer.
Another similarity is that both musicians have a vein for impacting listeners with the significance of their words, which becomes clear on “That Night (II)”. At first, it’s as if one’s sitting next to the singer as she tells them her tale. However, as the song builds up, the details start to weigh in and one can’t help but become passionate about the story.
Then the last song, “Rewriting History”, introduces a new feeling: sadness, making one wonder if that is the step they will take on their third EP.
War Stories may seem like an easy listen at first due to the light essence of pop music—the true impact comes from the lyrics. It’s not a record to listen to on repeat at any time, but it will be there if you need it.