slothtrop's artists

The Please Please Me

Hot ‘N Heavy Bedroom Pop

With the right amount of resilience, taking a fall can be an awful lot like taking a leap of faith. So says Jessie Torrisi of the Please Please Me, whose new EP Fallin’ Thru, celebrates the beauty of surrender. “It's definitely about falling--falling in love, falling out of love, falling into yourself, falling through the cracks of life changing, of dreams cracking, of things not quite working out the way you thought they would. It's about falling for your fantasies, falling back into yourself, waking up from a twisted journey and walking home, like the bleeding hero of an action movie in the final scene, though you assumed you'd be waltzing into the sunset. It's about letting yourself fall because it's better than standing still or being afraid to go for what you want. It's about finding a power in all of that,” says Torrisi.

The songs on Fallin Thru’ chronicle being on the precipice of love and wanting to fall while knowing that fractures and hard breaks could await. The EP opens with “Keep on Falling,” co-written with Torrisi’s Slothtrop label-mate Marty Finkel. The lyrics, insistent percussion, and ever-changing melody underscore the dizzy confusion that love can bring, how moments of hope can sparkle up from desperation.

By the time Torrisi gets to “Hold My Heart,” she’s ready to confront her own vulnerability while trying to encourage someone else to fall for her. “It’s about desire. It’s that feeling when you want someone so bad, and they’re interested but not quite jumping and you know, if you can just convince them, they’ll keep the cold at bay.” The lyrics crystallize that moment on the brink of whatever’s next. “I hold my breath and breathe you in,” she sings, acknowledging both the fear and the intoxication of romance. It’s a perfect mid-tempo ballad, full of all the risk and reward of love. The song ends in a perfectly dramatic climax and Torrisi intones “I want to fall with you.” The words are elongated and echoing, and it’s easy to picture her singing them across a canyon whose other side she can’t picture.

In addition to co-writing with Finkel, Torrisi met with several other writers in Nashville for co-writing sessions. “Dirty” arose from one of those sessions, with Torrisi dedicating it to Donald Trump at live shows. Despite that association, “Dirty” is an undeniably sexy disciplinarian which finds Torrisi demanding “Take your Valium, take your Prozac, take your temper tantrum bad mood heart attack.”

Throughout Fallin’ Thru, Torrisi combines infectious pop melodies with moody electronica, crystallizing the exhilaration and fear that accompany a fall. To make this EP, Torrisi had to find enough strength inside herself to be musically vulnerable in new ways. “It's the first album I recorded without a band, just me and a producer trying to hash out what sounds would bring the songs to life,” Torrisi reflects. Her decision to shed her band was largely geographic, as Torrisi recently left Austin to return to Brooklyn. “I left my bandmates in Austin and I wanted to start fresh with a sound that represented me, that I could put across, that my voice could carry, just me.”

There’s a synergy to the way the production works with Torrisi’s music. The songs are masterfully layered so that vocals, piano, percussion, and synths all occupy their own sonic space. Torrisi took special care to make sure her voice wouldn’t ever get drowned out. “I dropped the keys in most of the songs and was insistent that my voice would not compete. It would not be in the background, it would not be buried by synths or cool textures. It would have its own space.”

The EP concludes with “Start a Fire,” an older song in Torrisi’s canon. “This was the first song I wrote after I moved to Austin in 2009. It was January, I had no car, just a bike, and a chill was really starting to set in.” The song was originally written on guitar and meant to be more of a folk song, but Torrisi found herself revamping it after her recent relocation to Brooklyn. With its wispy synths and gently layered vocals, “Start a Fire” is the perfect closing track. From the start of this EP, Torrisi has been telling us that falling in love is playing with fire, finally she reminds us that fire can also keep us warm.

Fallin’ Thru is available everywhere on October 13, 2017.

The Please Please Me releases