Worriers’ first album, Imaginary Life, came out in 2015. It’s hard to believe that’s over two years ago now. Since then, Lauren Denitzio has, they detail in the zine accompanying their latest record Survival Pop, been through one hell of a lot. The name says it all really: the album truly is survival pop.
And it’s good pop too. Each song features a catchy guitar hook and a memorable chorus. Their first single from the album, Future Me, came out in June and when I listened to it I knew the album was going to be powerful and emotional and honest and sad and hopeful. “When I leave you’ll never notice it. But I relive those years like phantom limbs. Your indecision, a lack of empathy. I shoulda left, I shoulda settled for lonely.” To me, it’s a song about moving on to a future you didn’t think was possible, and it’s beautiful. Maybe it’s where I’m at in life at the moment, but the album feels like an amazing work of self-reflection and personal development following a great deal of hard times.
Following on from Imaginary Life’s political power punk, Survival Pop contains tracks like What We’re Up Against – a direct challenge to the systems that perpetuate the political power dynamics that put a man like Trump in charge of the USA – and Best Fear/Worst Fantasy – a reference to the infamous photo of Donna Gottschalk at the 1970 Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day protest.
The final track, Open Heart, has a Transgender Dysphoria Blues style urgency to it with military-esque snare drums. “The notion you learn from the hurt beneath your feet. The feeling I’m here by the skin of my teeth. The people I’ve been and the proving scars. I’ve gone through life with an open heart.” The album deals with very heavy topics, from the death of friends, to abusive relationships, but it does so in such a relentlessly positive way that it’s hard not to feel inspired and hopeful.