Reno McCarthy wowed us (and thousands others) with his timeless rock-esque vocal croon in his single “Still”…… but he has more. “Still” was the most recent single from his album, Counterglow, releasing today. A “coming of age” album written over a span of four years, Counterglow addresses the impact of the passage of time on living with fear and anxiety. We had a quick chat with Reno about his alt-pop single “Still”, his new album, and his plans for the summer.
What is the inspiration behind “Still”?
It’s the oldest song on Counterglow. I wrote it in 2013, the best and worst year of my life, during which I discovered both the power of romantic love and the shittiness of the panic attack – two excellent sources of songwriting fuel. Still came out of feeling the inevitability of anxiety, and of the repetitive, seemingly inescapable waltz with the Made-up Monster. It’s slightly ironic too, written from the perspective of a guy who thinks he’s the first ever human being to have a panic attack, the Neil Armstrong of stress. Ironic, but also honest; my generation knows that we’re fucked up. We’ve known for years. We face that fact one way or another pretty much every day, yet I think most of us feel isolated and misunderstood. I don’t think we’re very good at assessing our own feelings, much less each other’s, or at understanding how much we actually share.
You have a new album releasing this week – Can you tell us more about the inspiration and process behind creating Counterglow?
The main theme of Counterglow is fear. Fear of growing up, fear of responsibility, fear of love, fear of time, fear of dumb trivial stuff like my stomach rumbling in a silent classroom. It’s an album about anxiety, as well as a coming of age story. It’s not a concept album, there is no all-encompassing underlying lyrical intention, each song is just a simple representation of what I was feeling when I wrote it. Some are rooted in fleeting and undefined dreams, some in harsh truth and dull realism.
What inspired the name of the album?
It took a long time to find a title. I was using a working title during production but in the end decided that it didn’t work, so I did what you do and got caught in a Wikipedia loop trying to find something that represented everything about the record in one word. Evidently, that’s impossible so I ended up going with a word that’s mostly a description of what I feel the album sounds like. Counterglow is an anglicization of the german term “gegenschein” (“a patch of very faint nebulous light sometimes seen in the night sky opposite the position of the sun. It is thought to be the image of the sun reflected from gas and dust outside the atmosphere”). The record to me feels like a summer drive on a freeway at night, but still very glittery and sparkly, and I liked the word so that settled it.
What is your favorite lyrical line from the album?
I think “Reasons” is balanced rather well on the fine line between corny and clever, specifically in the end of the second verse:
“I could give you the moon
But I think you’d suspect
It’s not really the moon
It’s a circle I sketched
And I could tell you the reasons why I think you’d like it anyway”
What can fans expect next from you?
Shows! We’re launching Counterglow at Casa Del Popolo in Montreal on May 15th and then at Avant-Garde in Ottawa on the 30th and Maelstrøm in Quebec city on June 1st. I should be playing in Montreal a bit this summer and hopefully by the fall we can get something together that’s a little more tangible.
Listen to “Still” on our imPRESSED Playlist and connect with Reno on socials!
Spotify . Instagram . Twitter . Facebook .
Spotify . Instagram . Twitter . Facebook .
Spotify . Instagram . Twitter . Facebook .

Dawn Jones is the curator of the V13 imPRESSED Column. Previously known as imPRESSED Indie Music Blog, Jones and her team joined forces with V13 in 2020 to collaborate on an exclusive column on V13's site (imPRESSED) to bring a niche focus to the rapidly evolving indie music genre. Dawn is also the founder of Pressed PR - a boutique PR agency that focuses on PR for independent creatives. Pressed PR’s team works on a variety of campaigns partnering with independent filmmakers, independent artists, and independent labels. Pressed PR’s music clientele has landed in the pages of Billboard, Atwood Magazine, EARMILK, HYPE Magazine, and many others.