Humour and heavy subjects… They go together surprisingly well, don’t they? Making light of a difficult topic often makes everything a whole lot tolerable, and the duo of Andrew Fullerton and Matt Orlando has mastered that approach with their band Who? What? When? Why? & Werewolves?.
Combined with an easy folk sound and glowing harmonies, the group has really found their footing on their latest record Hard Feelings. The first single, “Quittin’,” is indicative of that easy folk approach, with a light, country tone that’s easy on the ears. The band collaborated on the song, remotely, with Amy Alvey of Golden Shoals, who contributed a beautiful and wistful fiddle, right from her home in Nashville. “Quittin’” discusses the cost of following your dreams and the subsequent effect that has on your partner and the people close to you. You may be pursuing what you love, but there are residual effects of that, some of which are not always so positive on others.
Discussing the inspiration behind the song, Fullerton said, “We went out to LA to do a show and I remember calling my wife saying how beautiful it was there, and she had a particularly rough night at work and was just not feeling it. Our spouses are left holding the bag a lot when we go on tour so this song was my attempt at a please-forgive-me type country song.”
Confronting awkward, challenging situations is a theme that is threaded throughout Hard Feelings. The record is about the difficult conversations we have with ourselves, our families, and our friends. One of the greatest obstacles is how we have these conversations while still retaining a sense of empathy. When they’re on the road, Fullerton and Orlando end up spending a lot of time together, which leads to a lot of immersive conversations about life, love, and music. These conversations prompted a lot of musical creativity, with a lot of song ideas coming out of these no-nonsense chats. There’s a certain sense of acknowledgement, reflection, and forgiveness in these songs, a sort of spiritual renaissance.
Hard Feelings is indicative of the growth the pair have experienced since the release of their 2019 debut Greatest Hits, and also suggestive of an act that has really discovered their full voice, and the way in which they want to use it.
Hard Feelings Track Listing:
2. Little In Love
3. Hard Feelings
4. Made Things Weird
5. Death Wish
6. Fancy Boy
7. It All Falls On Me