Lo-fi indie rocker, Small Town Sci-Fi divulges the inner workings of his heart on debut EP Psycho out May 26. The California-based artist, also known as Jonathan Suarez, became interested in the world of music after a death in the family which shook Suarez to his core. Pouring his energy into song, Suarez explains that this EP was his chance to “be honest with myself and to the people who might listen. I wanted to discuss things as they really were and not how I wanted them to be.”
Despite only recently picking up guitar and songwriting, his 4-track EP spans almost all stages of grief with heart-wrenching candor and admirable vulnerability. Like an edgier version of Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie & Lowell, Suarez balances deep pain with moments of illuminating introspection.
Placing listeners right into the crux of the wound, the EP’s opening track, “Methadone,” reflects a version of Suarez in tormented agony as he sings “it’s like my respiratory cavity’s been gutted out. Burn me down, cut me out, watch me drown – I’m hollowed out.” Careful not to portray a false sense of hope, Suarez ends the EP with “Escape Velocity,” a track which plays with the idea of escapism. “Sit back and watch while I lose my mind,” he sings. With visceral imagery and evocative language, Suarez is able to draw out an authentic sense of tragedy.
This palpable loss is felt throughout “Psycho” as the record’s title track displays a desperation for his loved one to hold on a little longer and “Twelve Bulls” reflects the sense of anger which loss brings. “I had this image of a person I was going to be at this point,” he explains. “I thought I’d be mentally healthy, happy, and I thought I’d be a good person. It felt like I came to a kind of crossroads where I could choose either to commit to trying to deceive myself and the people around me, or to start being honest.” Even if Suarez hasn’t found acceptance, he’s most definitely found the courage to be honest.