The journey of heartbreak can be looked at in so many different ways. But for the most part it is gut-wrenching. There is nothing that hurts more than knowing that you can’t talk to the person anymore that used to always be there for you through all of the highs and lows. There’s a bit of anger towards them that filters through, contrasted by a supercut of happy memories that plays on a constant loop in your mind. But there is also the stage of deep introspection where you question all of the things that you did throughout the relationship that impacted the fate of division.
Heartbreak is complex. And Banoffee has beautifully reflected that on her highly anticipated sophomore album ‘Tear Tracks’. Taking a moment after the release of her debut album ‘Look At Us Now Dad’ last year, the Melbourne based singer-songwriter found herself sitting her emotions post-breakup. Picking up the guitar, she started to write. What came out was a range of different thoughts and feelings that surrounded this delicate parting of ways.
Capturing the raw emotion through a vivid soundscape, this record will have you physically experiencing the range of hyper-emotions with her. There is anger, hurt, betrayal, introspection, as well as celebration of the person she’s become throughout the process. There is a hopeful underlining sentiment that you will come out on the other side from the darkness and find a growth within yourself.
I recently chatted to Banoffee about the multi-faceted emotions of heartbreak behind ‘Tear Tracks’, explored the organic approach to this record compared to her debut album, and talked about some of the hard hitting lyrics. Check it out BELOW;
THOMAS BLEACH: Your sophomore album ‘Tear Tracks’ is a heartbreak record that explores the multi-faceted layers of emotions that follow a separation with someone. What did writing and recording this album teach you about heartbreak and your personal relationship with letting go that maybe you didn’t realise beforehand?
BANOFFEE: Shit, good question! I think this record taught me to rest in my emotions for a while. I often feel I need to verbalise everything I’m feeling. It’s like a frantic rush to get it all out and understood. When this record began forming I could see how things changed over time and that sitting with things is sometimes more productive than forcing dialogue.
TB: The album is bookended by the equally beautiful and cathartic ‘Tapioca Cheeks’ and ‘Tears’. Where in the creative process were these two songs written, and did you see them immediately as the beginning and ending to this chapter?
B: I didn’t know they would be the bookends straight away. ‘Tapioca Cheeks’ was the first song I wrote, and ‘Tears’ came very near the end, but it wasn’t until I was piecing it all together that I realised how perfectly they tied up the narrative. This record was so unplanned. I was writing feverishly at the time, but nothing had a plan or structure, I just waited to see what would come.
TB: Are there any other songs on the album that you see as parallels to each other?
B: I’d love to know what people hear themselves. There are parallels for me, but sometimes letting all of those things out stops people from making it their own. Many of the songs definitely link up for me and were written at very different times in my process.
TB: A lyric that felt really special on ‘Tears’ was “I wanna see you smile like you used to. That was the best”. There’s a really hopeful, mature and deep understanding highlighted there with wanting the best for someone even when you realise that may not be with you, but not letting go of them completely with you singing “you will always be my best friend”. How important was it for you to show that side, as we often see just the “fuck you, I’m moving on and hate you” side of break-ups in media?
B: This was super important to me. This record is a dedication to a time in my life. I am so grateful for that time and although it’s always tempting to hate someone to distract from the pain, I don’t think any of us have to. I wanted a mature break up record when I was going through my shit, I wanted something that was measured and saw me, and I couldn’t find it, so I wrote ‘Teartracks’.
TB: The album hears you embracing guitar more heavily into your production. What was inspiring you to sonically push your sound in that way for this record?
B: More than anything, the record was written down by the beach where I didn’t have any of my gear. Having left everything in Los Angeles so quickly when the pandemic hit I was limited in what I had around me. I found it really helpful to work within my limitations and the guitar felt right for the types of songs I was writing. Now when I look into that time I remember I was also listening to a lot of country and folk which potentially also pushed me to work with more acoustic instruments.
TB: ’I Hate It’ is a song that immediately stands out on the record with its strong visual lyricism and production. Can you explain how this track creatively came together?
B: This track was written with a bit of a Julia Stiles moment in mind. I originally wrote this song for a friend who’d gone through a break-up. Then when I went through my own I rewrote it, added a bridge and got some new production on it. I love this song because it’s so damn fun to sing! I think everyone can relate to the feeling of loving and hating someone at the same time. The two emotions are so close together. This is one for people to really sing along to and head bang if they feel the need.
TB: On ‘Enough’ you sing the refrain “you don’t love me enough”. When you wrote that lyric did you find yourself in a state of pain saying it out loud, or was there a catharsis to just putting it out there?
B: It was a bit of both. It’s painful to come to a realisation like that. That love generally can push people to save things and if it’s not there then yeah things deteriorate. In saying it out loud and singing it though, it became more of a comforting anthem for me. A reminder to look forward, to ask for more, and to stop fighting the inevitable.
TB: What song on the album went through the most alternate versions to get to where it is now?
B: They all went through so many versions! I would say ‘Something Great’ and ‘Pill’ were the most reworked. ‘Pil’l has an entirely alternate version that’s very different, and ‘Something Great’ has 3 other versions, one electronic, one acoustic and super poppy. At some point I might release them. Who knows!
TB: You released your debut album ‘Look At Us Now Dad’ last year right before the impending worldwide shut down. So not having the chance to really perform it live yet, have you thought about how you’re going to bring together these two very different body of works to celebrate both of them?
B: It’s going to be difficult. The show would be so long if I were to showcase both. However, there are songs I think deserve to be brought out of the trenches so I’ll try my best to give them some air time as well.
‘Tear Tracks’ is out now!