Premiere: Tiny Stills Battle Anxiety and Social Media on “Everything Is Going Great”

Tiny Stills © Megan Thompson
On their new single, Tiny Stills argue even though it seems like “Everything Is Going Great,” we should be more open with our feelings.
Watch: “Everything Is Going Great” – Tiny Stills


There are plenty of songs that have pointed out the irony of telling people you’re feeling “good”, “okay”, or “great,” even when you’re not.  Few view it through the filter of social media as eloquently as Tiny Stills’ new single “Everything’s Going Great” from the band’s upcoming split EP with Odd Robot. The track breaks down the superficial facade of holding it all together with bombastic charm in the Instagram-worthy video, premiering today on Atwood Magazine.

Tiny Stills & Odd Robot EP

Tiny Stills & Odd Robot EP

In the song’s prechorus, frontwoman Kailynn West offers a reason as to why we lie to those around us, and by proxy, ourselves about how we feel: “I don’t want the world to think I’m weak.”  West tells Atwood:

“It’s hard to find truth in the stories we tell ourselves to just get through hard times. We’ll tell ourselves and our family and friends that we’re doing ok just so we can get through the day, but believing that can delay finding solutions. Eventually it all catches up to you.”

I wrote it after coming home from a 6 week long US tour, to a home life that felt like it was falling apart. Everything looks “great” through the filter of social media, but realistically, how do you even visually capture financial stress, interpersonal issues, sickness, or drama at work? You can’t. Even utilizing social media to connect with people it makes it even more difficult to talk about some of these things. Like, you want me to type out every single problem I’m having and maybe we can have a meaningful conversation about what is really on our minds? Sure, lets take a few hours! When I was catching up with friends, even though I wasn’t OK at all, my default response was always “everything’s going great” even when I felt the opposite. Being resilient is such a double edged sword because it allows you to tolerate more than you can actually handle if you’re not honest with yourself, and then you’re really forced to face your truth head on- and fall apart. That is what this song is about.

As the chorus erupts, West belts:

So I repeat it, repeat it until I believe it
Everything’s going great.

Her delivery is menacing, almost as if she’s trying to physically force the great feeling with the might of her voice.  She follows this with the more honest lines:

Just don’t ask me how I really feel
I keep it all locked away

In the video, West alternates between screaming at herself in the mirror and figuring out poses and outfits that would undoubtedly look great on in 750 x 1334 pixels.  The video best depicts the song’s conflicts.

The video juxtaposes West in picturesque situations and visibly upset.  Whether it’s flipping between a pose for a night out in the mirror and a pep talk in the same one or a romantic moment gone awry, the “Everything is Going Great” video gives a straightforward depiction of how even seemingly happy situations can contain anxiety and depression.  Few moments are as Instagram ready as a night of friends messing around, a birthday party, or a cliffside kiss, but the video pairs these moments with obsessive journaling or restlessly laying in bed.  The video’s end is perhaps the most rapid fire signature of this.  It quickly cuts between a performance shot of West and Tiny Stills that looks like it’s a soundstage designed for The 1975 and a dark shot of West alone in her room with makeup running down her face.  It’s a perfect encapsulation of how we perceive people having the time of their life and some of the real struggles they deal with.

While it’s nearly a human instinct to try to portray our lives happening in the best life, it is also common knowledge that so many of us carry struggles that we feel like we’re hiding.  With Tiny Stills’ “Everything is Going Great,” Kailynn West accurately showcases the differences between what we want the world to see and what we actually feel.  Even if things aren’t great, we should feel open to talking about them as openly as West does on this track.

Watch Tiny Stills’ new music video exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

Watch: “Everything is Going Great” – Tiny Stills

 

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James is a New York-based writer and comedian. Besides Atwood, he's also written for Sensations Press and his own blog Burgeraday.com. He also co-hosts the Burger-a-Day Podcast.