Premiere: I Hate You Just Kidding’s Happy/Sad Song “Smokestacks”

I Hate You Just Kidding © Joel Hodson
I Hate You Just Kidding’s new song “Smokestacks” is a cover-up, a happy sad song about dealing, or not dealing with depression.

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Darkness isn’t always obvious; in fact, a lot of times we try to cover up our sadness, blending it into our everyday smiles as a means of coping with it, avoiding it, or keeping it to ourselves. I Hate You Just Kidding’s new song “Smokestacks” is a cover-up, a happy sad song about dealing, or not dealing with depression.

Smokestacks, not a cloud in the sky
Feel like I’ve been running for miles
But I haven’t even left my bed
Speak quickly, my mind is like the low tide
For a moment, what’s below will rise
But soon be hidden again
This is a mess
Listen: “Smokestacks” – I Hate You Just Kidding

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Smokestacks,” the new single off I Hate You Just Kidding’s forthcoming sophomore album, Constellations (out Groundhog Day, 2/2/2018). The Los Angeles-based husband and wife duo of Jeremy and Jessi Brock, I Hate You Just Kidding released their debut album Days Grow Longer in 2011. Five years, one marriage and two children later, their second album is complete and ready for the world. “Smokestacks” is a moment of poignant honesty in the record, the complex emergence of dark emotions and light music that swim together in harmony.

Constellations - I Hate You Just Kidding

Constellations – I Hate You Just Kidding

Do you think my eyes
can hear the rain before it falls?
Do you think my ears
can hear the rain before it falls?

“With many of our songs we like to have this juxtaposition with lyrics and music, and we feel like Smokestacks is a perfect example of that,” the duo shares. “Lyrically, the song is pretty straightforward; it’s written from the perspective of someone dealing with depression in various stages. Musically, it’s upbeat and the tone is hopeful. A lot of songs about this subject matter, even though we love them so much, can make you wallow, and the sadness is at the forefront of the song. Smokestacks attempts to hide the struggle to be happy and healthy in the same way people sometimes do. We want our songwriting to be able to catch the ear of the listener and let them know they aren’t alone, but we also want it to be uplifting.”

Shipwrecked, days have gone by
We call for rescue, but still no reply
Are we alone?
Flashback, it’s just another bad day
Let’s go to bed now
In the morning I’ll wake
With the sun on my face
This is our chance
I Hate You Just Kidding © Joel Hodson

I Hate You Just Kidding (full band) © Joel Hodson

Reminiscent of now-defunct Portland duo Dresses, I Hate You Just Kidding evoke a warm acoustic folk pop that drifts in and out of bittersweet melancholy. Jessi Brock denies those harder feelings in the verses, but finds herself unable to succumb in the chorus: “Do you think my eyes can hear the rain before it falls?,” she sings, recognizing the mood swings and changes that can often occur for those with mood disorders. “Do you think my ears can hear the rain before it falls?

We all know someone in our lives who is pretending or has pretended to be happy, when deep down they’re dealing with something much more sinister. “Smokestacks” is a reminder of how difficult it can be – even in the good times – to struggle with depression: It’s something we can all connect with, whether we too have struggled, or are supporting a loved one.

Nevertheless, I Hate You Just Kidding return with an infectious warmth that cannot help but bring a little warmth and shine to our cold November day. Stream “Smokestacks” now, exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

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Constellations - I Hate You Just Kidding

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photo © Joel Hodson

:: I Hate You Just Kidding ::

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com