Two Last Names’ new single, Interstate Growing Pains will evoke the emotional, introspective tendencies of any human with a pulse.
Two Last Names oozed into existence during a jam on an abandoned train carriage in the hills of Gippsland on Gunaikurnai country. It was there that the eclectic, out-of-the-ordinary fusion of musical influences sprouted, resulting in a mixed pot of what Amber told Happy was “ocker nonsense, emo oversharing and unexpected beats (with a whole lot of snare) that somehow works.”
Two Last Names are quick to tell you that they’re passionate about women, engaging with gender-diverse people and the LGBTQIA+ community. They enjoy having indie-punk storytelling energy, and it’s physically impossible for them to write a song without getting overexcited and yelly towards the end. If that sounds like something you’d get into, you’re going to love Interstate Growing Pains.
Amber wrote Interstate Growing Pains during lockdown while stuck in Victoria. She was away from her family and friends located back home in Adelaide and missed them like crazy. The track dives into fragments of internal guilt that Amber was feeling about being disconnected from her family and work. Being stuck in her house opened her eyes to her reliance on travelling around to visit family and friends whenever she wanted. The world felt very small to her during this time, and she questioned the normality of ditching people you care about for a career and getting caught up in life. It’s basically a punk anthem about missing your parents.
The polished track hooks you in with a curious, stripped-back, cheerless riff which is then met with a pounding outcry of crashing drums from drummer Gaz, who sounds like he has eight arms. Nervous anticipation is revved up throughout the song as the absence of certainty remains through the blistering bashes of drums and static rioting electric guitar. The vocals hold such an authentic cadence of being emotionally absorbed within puzzled feelings and perplexed sadness.
Amber really hits a nerve in her own emotions when she almost cries through the lyrics. The feelings of guilt and overwhelming despair are blown out of proportion, as the honesty and rawness become urgent and restless, crammed with grit and zip-gun velocity. There is a beautiful moment of emotional rawness through the line, “I’m feeling further than an eleven-hour drive from you,” as Ambers cries and pushes through her expansive emotional pain. Amber was feeling daunted by the idea of singing on her own, without the other vocalist in the band, but taking that leap into the unknown blossomed her confidence as a singer.
The track was recorded with the legendary Kyle Gutterson in St Kilda, in between bass players. Amber cranked it out on the bass, backing vocals, and all of the striking guitar riffs, all on her own for the very first time! To ensure it aligns with Two Last Names’ signature style, the group relentlessly layered the track to get to its meaty racket vibes and nailed a boundless metallic sound that collapses and smacks you silly.
Being transparent about the anxieties of sharing really personal creations with the world, Amber opened up about her nerves: “It’s a bit nerve-wracking releasing this one cause the lyrics are super vulnerable, but I hope people can relate to it!”
I’m sure anyone who breathed through the hardships of lockdown will relate to this track and enjoy its emotionally potent honesty. Check it out below!