Death, taxes, and heartbreak – these are the inevitability of life. There is no one among us who hasn’t felt the pain of a breakup, and Neon Bloom captures this feeling in its latest release, “Novocaine.”
The group’s first foray into hip hop, “Novocaine” touches on the stress of a failing relationship, when two people know deep down that they should walk away but can’t quite bring themselves to do it, and the difficult aftermath when all that’s left is to pick up the pieces.
“The title, ‘Novocaine,’ refers to the delusional desire after a breakup for some sort of quick-fix that will numb the sting of a lost love, leaving one blissfully ignorant and pain-free,” the group explained.
Underneath the lyrics is a slow, rhythmic beat that evokes feelings of pain and mystery, making listeners feel like they’re going through it themselves. Vocalist Jen Simpson provides the punch, detailing the fallout of a collapsed couple in the song:
For love pains. Always falling
Do it again,
Like we knew what love was then.”
The verses dive deeper into the abyss of heartbreak and the internal torment it can bear – “Feeling so alive, but like a zombie though.”
The single is part of Neon Bloom’s “Still Life,” the EP that was created and recorded from each member’s individual homes during the height of the pandemic. The musicians sent clips and ideas back and forth to one another, eventually piecing together what would become the band’s fourth project.
The track was abnormal for Neon Bloom in more ways than one. The pandemic made things strange enough, but it was also the group’s entry into a new sound.
“Not only was our writing and recording process very different for this EP, but ‘Novocaine’ specifically was a major departure for us in terms of genre,” the band said. “It’s our first attempt at a hip-hop track and features bassist Fred Yurichuk’s high school friend, Mark Cruz, scratching in the bridge. Mark is an established scratcher who sent his contributions from Calgary, continuing the collaboration-by-distance trend.”
Also unconventional is the music video for “Novocaine,” which features professional dancers Marissa Ricci and Tyler Angell performing improvisational, interpretive dance around Simpson on a rooftop basketball court located close to the Lansdowne subway station in Toronto. The court’s open space juxtaposed to the dancer’s closeness to Simpson display the simultaneous feelings of the infinite unknown but finite room at the conclusion of a relationship.
Whether you’re fresh out of a relationship or haven’t felt the ache of heartbreak in years, we all know the feeling. Neon Bloom’s “Novocaine” will take you back to that time and offer a shoulder to cry on – you don’t have to face this alone.
We would like to thank Eric Alper for the press release and artist profile.