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REVIEW: "Split" by House and Home and Suntitle

The bands Suntitle and House and Home have burst back onto the scene with newest offering, "Split". As the name suggests, there are songs from both bands on the album. It came out on January 26 on Open Your Ears Records.

Suntitle originally formed in 2017 in New Jersey, but as guitarist and vocalist Joe McGarvey said in an interview coming soon, "we were never from New Jersey." They are originally from Richmond. They released their first full-length in 2021 called "In a Dream". Notable bands they've shared the stage with are Set It Off, Seaway, '68, and Knuckle Puck. The band has also been featured in Spotify playlists "New Noise", "Alternative Noise" and "New Alt-Rock Playlist".

House and Home formed in 2017 in Virginia. They released their debut full-length, “Find Sense. Feel Love. Make Light.” in April of 2020 and released an EP in 2022 called "Everything is Sacred". They're also supporting Australian rock band Trophy Eyes on a tour starting on April 26 in Brooklyn.

"Split" came about because the bands are, according to the press release, "like family" and they've "been bouncing ideas off each other ... It made too much sense to collaborate a little bit.” Will Beasly (The Dangerous Summer, Turnstile, and Handguns) produced the album at The Bakery Recording Studios.

The first two songs on "Split" are from House and Home. “Cellophane”, the first track, punches you in the face with a powerful, urgent guitar. The lyrics communicate an ache that should be familiar to a lot of listeners. It's about growing up and wondering if you'll get that innocence back. There’s great imagery in the chorus: Draw with chalk on the pavement/Where I used to lay/Will I fit in the outline/Will it look the same?

The song continues to call back a lot of childhood needs, like in the lyrics: "I learned last night I can’t get to sleep/Without a pinhole light burning through my sheets.” It also talks about the power of music to help you get through all-consuming times, like depression, in "I'll sing my songs til everything makes sense".

The next track, “At the Bottom”, starts off with powerful drums that blend into a guitar that recalls early 2000's emo. Compelling vocals from lead vocalist/guitarist Patrick Williams come through immediately and go with the subject matter of the song, which is about going through a depressive episode. The best moment of the song is the pause where a melancholy guitar takes over for 30 seconds toward the end of the song. The lyrics perfectly describe a depression spiral: Treat you like a stranger while I call myself a friend…Pull flowers from your garden/To decorate my home inside this hole/I’m living at the bottom...With kindness that I don’t deserve… 

Another standout lyric is: Turning my back to the help I’m handed/Doing this the hardest way I can/So spiteful... Sometimes you need that one song that gets you and this song will mean that to a lot of people.

The last two, respectively, are from Suntitle. Emo fans will love "Bad Luck". The intro is foreboding and has lyrics like: Bad luck always tripping/Over my feet/Swept up by the feeling/When I can’t breathe.

It’s perfect on those days where you feel like nothing is going right. Halfway through the song there's an instrumental break that really ties the song together. It caps off at the end saying that the speaker is bad luck, illustrating the band's emo feel.

"At Your Feet" grabs you by the throat with its guitar intro and brings in thundering drums from Matt Stumpf. Lead vocalist Joe McGarvey's voice sounds far away. It's fitting for a song about disassociating and hating it's happening: Find a better place to hide/Than the back of my mind/Disassociate/It happens all the time…Can’t make sense of anything.

It's a song that you can blast when you're not feeling like yourself or are just pissed off at the world.

Suntitle and House and Home have put out a banger that deserves a spot on your daily playlist.


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