Track Premiere + Interview: Oldsoul – “Time Moves”

Posted: by The Editor

Oldsoul’s upcoming album You Were Overwhelmed is a piquing take on emo. Even when it simmers down, it still maintains a forward-moving momentum. It embodies the daintiness of bands like Ratboys and Great Grandpa coupled with a Death Cab for Cutie-esqe groundedness. “Time Moves,” a retrospective track, has a crystallized, forthright sound. It’ll be out on all streaming platforms tomorrow, but you can listen to it today with a link. I spoke to band members Jess and Tom about the new song as well as the album as a whole, which will be out February 6. 

What inspired the lyrics for “Time Moves?”

Tom: It’s about miscommunication between two people and a disconnect you can’t fully put into words.

Jess: When I listened to it after Tom wrote it, it reminded me that for a long time, my inability to cope with my past made it really hard for me to move forward. I always assume something really bad is going to happen to me.

Does anything particularly make you paranoid?

Jess: When I was eight, I found my dad dead in my house. It happened in the middle of the night, and we still don’t really know what caused it. A few months later, the woman my dad was with in his previous marriage took my half-brother away. Then, my grandparents died when I was 14. I often assume when I meet someone special, they’re probably going to die tomorrow – so I might as well love them as much as I can today. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the negative beginning to that sentiment is unhealthy.

So, you lost your father before you were old enough to fully contextualize the concept of death.

Jess: Sometimes, people would wonder, “where’s your dad?” or, “who’s the man in that picture?” Schools would celebrate events like “breakfast with dad day,” or I’d hear about father’s day and I’d be like – I don’t have that. I consider the last three years my best in my recovery from my upbringing.

What have you done in the last three years?

Jess: Be kinder to myself and care about the people around me without getting too invested in their problems. A lot of it is fear-driven. In a way, I think it’s selfish. I often think that I need to make sure the people that I love need to stay alive, and I will do everything I can to make sure they don’t have the same fate as the other people in my life did.

Are there any differences between your last record and this one?

Tom: There’s a lot about relationships.

Jess: Not just romantic, either.

There’s a lot of music about break ups, but friendships fall apart often, too. And that can also hurt.

Jess: It hurts worse. You expect the people you’re intimate with to hurt you, in a weird way, moreso than you would expect your friends and your family. 

Tom: In “Time Moves,” that comes up. Like the second verse includes the line “all the times i used your friendships, stretched your trust, left you hanging.”

Jess: And the line, “A promise i never made.”

As in, an implied promise?

Tom: Grammatically, it contradicts itself. But in friendships, there’s unspoken promises.

Jess: You form bonds that transcend saying words out loud. You’ll put aside your own experiences to help somebody you love, knowing they’re going to do the same in return without you even having to ask.

Are any of the songs on the record particularly important to you?

Jess: “July” was inspired by the fact that my dad passed away during that month. Instead of New Year’s Day, July 19 marked the passage of a full year for me. The lyrics aren’t necessarily about my dad, it’s more about remembering something really awful and thinking about all the other possible outcomes. A lot of my songs are about the feelings I felt as a teenager that I didn’t formulate properly until now.

What were you like as a teenager?

Jess: I spent a lot of time either skipping school or going to the guidance counselor because I couldn’t process my emotions properly and frankly, I didn’t want to. I victimized myself a lot to make myself feel better

You weren’t not a victim. You went through a lot.

Jess: Yeah, but I didn’t always treat other people well. It wasn’t always on purpose. Like for example, if you didn’t pay enough attention to me, I would assume you didn’t like me then shut down and insist it was not my fault. A lot of my recovery has revolved around me looking at myself and acknowledging what I did, and learning to move forward.

I saw you guys are doing a co-release with Counter Intuitive and Chatterbot Records. It’s an original concept. How did that come about?

Tom: Our last album was released through just Counter Intuitive. Lex from Chatterbot Records really liked our last album, so they reached out with the idea.

Jess: And Jake Sulzer, who runs Counter Intuitive, was up for it. It’d be cool to sell out venues and make money, but one of the biggest things that brought me to music was the community. People like Jake and Lex have created pockets of people across the world who come together and love music. I never thought people I admire from afar would be up for doing that sort of thing with my work.

It’s cool that Jake doesn’t view other record labels as competition. 

Jess: It’s hard to be an empathetic person, but also business-minded. I don’t think he sees others as a threat, but as an opportunity. He’s very welcoming – when you see Jake, he’ll greet you with open arms.

Any closing thoughts?

Tom: The album cover is a CAD (computer-aided drafting) mock-up of a coffee shop. The idea was for the artwork to be in the same style as the banners often hung in front of new apartment complexes. It’s social commentary, as there’s something eerie about those designs.

Jess: In Massachusetts, they’re pushing families out of where they’ve lived for so long by building luxury apartment complexes that none of us can afford because we’re paying off the degrees that didn’t get us jobs. And they keep building new coffee shops, even though there’s already enough. 

What’s your favorite dessert?

Tom: Tiramisu and pecan pie.

Jess: Mint chocolate chip ice cream.

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Bineet Kaur // @hellobineet

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