Wy’s Ebba and Michel Gustafsson Ågren open up about their achingly intimate and beautifully raw EP ‘Something Amazing’, a deeply vulnerable snapshot of life in motion that more than lives up to its name.
Stream: “Teeth” – Wy
It’s always scary sharing something deeply personal with the whole world… In a way, you’re forcing yourself to accept every version of yourself, even if you can’t fully relate to that person anymore.
Few artists are as open in their music as indie rock duo Wy.
Few bands readily share as many scars and emotional wounds in their songs, but that’s what helps the Swedish act’s music stand out: Their achingly expressive art is a special form of therapy, each song processing another of life’s trials, triumphs, and traumas. Despite being only three songs in length, Wy’s latest EP is one of their most honest and vulnerable works to date: A stirring record of love, intimacy, growth, and inner reckoning, Something Amazing lives up to its name as a beautiful, raw upheaval.
You think your teeth are falling out
And now you’re smoking on the balcony
You say it takes the edge off
It’s something for your stress
It’s something ’cause you’re such a mess
And I guess my body’s looking nice
In this particular light
I wonder what song I would sing at your funeral
And every high note would break
– “Teeth,” Wy
Released June 17, 2022 via Rama Lama Records, Something Amazing is a visceral snapshot of life in motion: A three-track set of memories and melodies forever enshrining a particularly meaningful time in Ebba and Michel Gustafsson Ågren’s lives, as they waited to welcome their first child. This twelve-minute cathartic experience seamlessly balances “the darkness of our past selves and the light that was ahead of us,” per the duo. Wy hold nothing back in “Teeth,” “High Score,” and “Something Amazing,” dwelling as they’re wont to do in life’s vivid depths and sharing their full selves, ugly truths and all.
Brutal honesty feels particularly moving when it’s packaged in a Wy song, and Something Amazing harbors an infallible sense of warmth and hope that offsets the darkness and hurt. “The anticipation and the joy of waiting for our lives to completely change of course triggered our inspiration,” Ebba and Michel tell Atwood Magazine. “It became our goal to finish those songs before the baby came. We felt we had something to say and we knew that we wouldn’t be able to focus even a minute on our music when we stepped into our new reality.”
Something Amazing arrives just over a year after Wy’s critically acclaimed third album, Marriage. Hailed as their rawest effort yet, Marriage found the Swedish band sharing their personal story while embracing overarching themes of togetherness and finding your place in the world. “Marriage is an unapologetic triumph of musical self-expression,” we wrote at the time, “an intimate indie rock upheaval that connects on a visceral, deeply human level. Passion, identity, and purpose; romance, connection and self-confidence; inner turmoil and tension all come to life on a record that revels in the depths of our very existence.”
We might consider Something Amazing to be a sort of residual afterglow following the long-form achievement that was (and is) Marriage.
Something Amazing‘s lead single and opening track “Teeth” is an undeniable highlight. A raw reckoning of helplessness, love, empathy, and acceptance channeled through chilling indie rock, “Teeth” “represents the darkness,” per the band. “It’s about watching someone you love struggle to find peace within themselves. Feeling helpless, knowing that the only thing you can do is wait for them to heal.”
Wy channel these heavy, churning emotions into a heavy, churning song: “Teeth” is a slow-burning upheaval that steadily rises to a roar over the course of two and a half minutes. “You think your teeth are falling out, and now you’re smoking on the balcony,” Ebba sings at the start, observing her loved one from an impermeable, intimate distance. Quickly, her observations deviate into reflections: “I wonder what song I would sing at your funeral, and every high note would break…” Guitars crunch and drums punch a slow, strong beat as she pours herself out in the third verse, ultimately erupting in a soaring, gut-wrenching finale: “And it’s you who’s turning out the lights…“
Your hand is resting on my thigh
I’m watching videos as lullabies
Did I take the edge off?
Did I cause you stress?
Suddenly I can only breathe through the mouth
And it’s you who’s turning out the lights
There’s profound love in these lines: A deep knot of love whose passion and energy fills the room as the fever dies. Wy leave us to dwell in that emotional wreckage on the sidelines; their words, especially Ebba’s final graceful howls, hang in the air and in our memory as we wrestle with the complex emotions and implications of this song.
The emotional outpouring “High Score” radiates with driving, feverish energy and unfiltered passion, bridging darkness and light as Ebba faces her demons head-on in an attempt to rid herself of them and “step into a braver version” of herself. “I cut my hair and call it change, started hating my friends and take offense by everything,” she sings, rising to the fore in an impassioned, assertive chorus: “I take my time, stop worrying about your age, stop overthinking every word you say.” It’s surprisingly freeing to not only admit your flaws to yourself, but to actively work through them.
I’m a flying kite
I’m a dying light
I’m a rolled up sleeve
I’m a masterpiece
I’m a closed casket ceremony
I’m the sequel in the trilogy
I’m not nearly where I want to be
I’m a rainbow on the window
I’m a light beam through a prism
The EP concludes with the lilting, radiant title track, a letter to the pair’s unborn son and a glimpse into what their future together might be like. Life’s wondrous magic and possibility is manifest in this beautiful acoustic confessional as Ebba and Michel assume their roles as future parents:
I want you to drown in orange wine
I want the sun to make you blind
Birds in the trees, old pictures of me
I wanna show it, I wanna show it to you
A deep dark lake, something from a lucid state
The sea when it’s glowing, something amazing
I wanna show it, I wanna show it to you
To be messy on the inside
Keep dogwatch on the coast line
Being an alien
Crying, then feeling okay again
I’m gonna show it, I’m gonna show it to you
Sheets drying in the wind
Tiny fleaowers reaching in the spring
And I’m gonna show it, I’m gonna show it to you
Truly, Something Amazing is something amazing.
From its bitter start to its gentle end, Wy’s new EP moves the heart and stirs the soul. It’s a gut-wrenching, heartwarming reminder that Ebba and Michel Gustafsson Ågren remain unparalleled masters of vulnerability – that not-so-secret ingredient that has enabled all three of their LPs to shine with stunning warmth, uninhibited beauty, and limitless grace. Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Wy’s Something Amazine EP with Atwood Magazine in our interview below!
As an artist you have to keep reminding yourself that the things you create are reflections of that specific period when they were created, and nothing more.
:: stream/purchase Something Amazing here ::
Stream: ‘Something Amazing’ – Wy
:: A CONVERSATION WITH WY ::
Atwood Magazine: Wy, can you share the story pf Something Amazing?
Wy: After releasing our second album Softie and playing our first UK gigs, we were beyond excited to step into the studio again in late 2019. We recorded three songs, intending to make an EP. That EP instead evolved into something completely different during the pandemic – our third album Marriage. Only one of those studio recordings made it onto the record – “Shiba Inu.” The second song didn’t feel right. But the third one, “High Score,” we both loved. We loved writing it and we loved what it became in the studio. We just couldn’t make it fit the mood on Marriage, and we didn’t want to change it either. So we let it rest.
By the beginning of 2021 Ebba became pregnant. The anticipation and the joy of waiting for our lives to completely change of course triggered our inspiration. We began writing again, about the darkness of our past selves and about the light that was ahead of us. It became our goal to finish those songs before the baby came. We felt we had something to say and we knew that we wouldn’t be able to focus even a minute on our music when we stepped into our new reality.
“Teeth” represents the darkness. It’s about watching someone you love struggle to find peace within themselves. Feeling helpless, knowing that the only thing you can do is wait for them to heal. “Something Amazing” is the light. It is a letter to our then unborn son, a glimpse into what our future together might be like. We knew that parenthood would be challenging, but we also knew it would be magical.
While working on these songs we realized that “High Score” might be the perfect bridge between dark and light. A tunnel leading from one end to the other. A cathartic song about leaving your old worries behind you and stepping into a braver version of yourself.
What was your vision going into this record after Marriage?
Wy: Marriage was very blunt and guitar-driven in it’s sound. We wanted to make our way back to the more airy, cinematic sound of our first record while still keeping it simple and focused. While working on Marriage we really got to practice on leaning into our strengths, to let every aspect of a song shine to its fullest potential, instead of cramming in a lot of layers and instruments. So we kept that “less is more”-approach but focused more on the landscape of the songs, aiming to make them lush without feeling too crowded.
Why the title “Something Amazing”?
Wy: It’s a title that feels specific but also open-ended. For us it’s about waiting for our first child. We knew nothing about this new little person we were going to spend the rest of our lives with, but we knew that it was going to be the most fantastic thing we have ever experienced. That feeling truly is something amazing.
We knew nothing about this new little person we were going to spend the rest of our lives with, but we knew that it was going to be the most fantastic thing we have ever experienced.
These songs are some of your most intimate tracks ever. Can you share a bit about their creation, and what it means to share something so vulnerable with the world?
Wy: “Teeth” and “Something Amazing” were written in our rehearsal space and recorded at home. Both of them started out as pure guitar ballads. If they were written for Marriage we probably would have kept them that way, but we wanted this EP to have more glitter than Marriage. When we rediscovered “High Score,” which was recorded in Studio Sickan, it just made sense to include it. We really struggled to find a place for this song when we recorded it, but both the sound and the theme was exactly what we were going for this time.
It’s always scary sharing something deeply personal with the whole world. Mostly because it becomes so permanent, while the feelings you had while writing the songs aren’t. You are forcing yourself to relive past worries, which can be anxiety-inducing, but it can also be very eye-opening. When you sing your words on stage, you sometimes realize that you’re not feeling that way anymore – not exactly – which is a complex feeling. In a way, you’re forcing yourself to accept every version of yourself, even if you can’t fully relate to that person anymore. As an artist you have to keep reminding yourself that the things you create are reflections of that specific period when they were created, and nothing more. There’s also something quite beautiful about that, like saving or preserving a part of your younger self in a piece of media, forever.
How do you feel this EP furthers your story and shares a snapshot of your lives in 2021/22?
Wy: This record has, to us, a more grounded feeling than our previous work. While Okay and Softie are about the pursuit of finding peace, Marriage and Something Amazing truly do so. And I think that becomes very apparent when you listen to it back to back. Our early work is filled with longing, almost a desperation, while the things we do now feel much more sure. And that’s solely because it reflects the truth of how we see ourselves now versus back then.
What do you hope listeners take away from Something Amazing, and what have you taken away from creating it?
Wy: Something Amazing is the result of us having fun with music. We wrote it for our own sake. We hope that it can continue to be that breezy, hopefully listeners can hear and feel that in the songs too.
:: stream/purchase Something Amazing here ::
Stream: ‘Something Amazing’ – Wy
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