Born out of deep grief, reflection, and solitude, Victoria Bigelow’s stirring debut EP ‘To Everyone I’ve Loved Before’ is a cinematic, cathartic, and truly beautiful musical outpouring.
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Few artists manage to capture acceptance and desolation as perfectly as Victoria Bigelow does in her song “To Everyone I’ve Loved Before,” but outright sadness isn’t the main objective across her new EP – even if she does self-describe as “sad but fun.”
Thanks for coming
I wanted you to miss me
I wanted you to hate me for
Just a little while
I feel nothing
But I wanted you to kiss me
I wanted you to
Remember the way that I smile
To everyone I loved before, I apologize
I never was too sure of you
Everyone I loved before
Was seldomly surprised
I never was so sure of me
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Victoria Bigelow’s debut EP To Everyone I’ve Loved Before, independently out June 19th, 2020. Born out of deep grief, self-reflection, and solitude, Bigelow’s introduction is one full of intimacy and intensity. The Nashville-based singer/songwriter (and former Atwood Editor’s Pick) invites us to take twenty minutes to ourselves with a hauntingly beautiful, bittersweet collection of Americana-inflected folk rock.
Existing somewhere in-between Lana Del Rey, Phoebe Bridgers, and Maren Morris, Bigelow evokes massive emotions through small, seductive sounds: Her effected guitar work and poignant piano chords are second only to her sultry, whispery vocals and stunningly emotional poetry. “I fucking miss you, but I’m doing much better now that we are not together,” she sings in the EP’s second track, her voice a hypnotic barrel of feeling melting over a sweet mesh of echoey, moody strings.
Yet this, too, pales in comparison to the EP’s arresting lead single and title track. A breathtakingly emotive overhaul, “To Everyone I’ve Loved Before” is Victoria Bigelow’s standout – a soulful surrender that captures everything there is to love in this artist all at once. She arrests the room the moment her poignant guitar cries out its anguished introduction; from there, she gentle confides to us an introspective, apologetic soliloquy. For her it’s a cathartic weight off her chest, and for us it’s a powerful display of maturity, grace, and honesty in songwriting. “I never said, never said, never said I’m sorry,” she laments with a heavy heart. While every minute of this EP is worth our ears, it’s a pleasure to open on such a high (or is it a low?) note every time.
The record is rounded out with the touchingly bittersweet song “Make Me Blue,” a simply sublime cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel #2” which mixes ethereal sonics with a minimalist touch, and a pained cry into sheer darkness, “Live Without You“: “How do I live with you? I don’t think I should have to,” the artist laments – heavy-hearted and aching with solemn, raw grief.
“This project has really meant a lot to me, mainly because it’s been such a feat to finish,” Bigelow tells Atwood Magazine. “I’m a mother to a three year old, and trying to get this done in the midst of quarantine (no childcare, no help, no break) was extremely challenging. My producer Devan Skaggs and I recorded most this in our bedroom and bathroom and have been releasing songs as we finished them, so the music and this EP as a whole has been living life alongside us which has made it feel especially vulnerable.”
Listen to Victoria Bigelow’s new songs and let her beautiful strain of melancholy wash over you.
She’ll make you blue, but more importantly, that wistful feeling is exactly the sort of meditative spell we need for our own growth and self-discovery. Experience the full record via our exclusive stream, and peek inside Victoria Bigelow’s To Everyone I’ve Loved Before with Atwood Magazine as the artist goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her debut EP!
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:: Inside To Everyone I’ve Loved Before ::
To Everyone I’ve Loved Before
An open letter and apology to past loves. I was reckless in relationships and with hearts (including my own) for a bit. I’m now in a relationship I feel completely settled into and I think that type of commitment has brought along a large amount of self reflection along with it. Also the first song I co-produced!
I Fucking Miss You
The first song I ever demo’d with a beat I had made in pro-tools a year or so ago. I really just wanted to experiment on this one. I’m searching for my “sound” a bit still, mainly because I’m influenced by so much R&B and I’m trying to figure out how to blend that with my singer-songwriter influence. This was my first attempt at playing with new elements – but I’m no where near where I’d like to be. I probably just need to hide in the desert for a week and figure it out, haha!
Make Me Blue
I had started writing the first verse of this song almost two years ago. I had a bad acid trip while I was with a partner once and I think I just needed to get the experience I had out of my body so I could let it go. *fun fact about this song: we actually recorded a scratch vocal in the middle of the day in our (very untreated) bedroom. I’m a mom so we have to kind of stop and start music sometimes and we weren’t able to revisit the song for a few weeks. By the time we were able to cut the real vocals I couldn’t deliver as emotive of a performance as the scratch – so we kept it! Learned our lesson the hard way. Never record a scratch, just get the vocal the first time.
Chelsea Hotel #2
One of the greatest songs of all time. When quarantine began all I wanted to listen to was leonard Cohen, joni Mitchell and stevie nicks. Things felt really loud and buzzy in my head and I needed to reground myself. I’m really bad at learning cover songs, and I’ve only committed like 5 to memory, including Chelsea hotel. It was time to turn in the next song of the EP and I couldn’t bring myself to record what I had initially planned. Every time I picked up my guitar this is all I wanted to play – so that’s what I did. It’s brought me a lot of comfort over the years and for the first little while of COVID it really felt like the only song that mattered.
Live Without You
This song doesn’t feel like mine, if that makes sense. This last year has been really hard for me personally and I’ve experienced a lot of loss the began as me kind of cataloging that grief. Initially, i was writing from a romantic viewpoint to help me put this amalgamated group of characters into a neat little box, but as the song kept going I realized I was also grieving a lot of other things and I was mad at America, mad at the men in charge, and mad at the oppressive systems in place that keep so many of us struggling. Right after I recorded this George Floyd passed, and I listened to it and it felt so heavy to me. Like I said, this song doesn’t feel like it belongs to me. All proceeds from this song are going to ActBlue bail, mutual aid and racial justice organization funds.
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? © Susan Berry
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