Seattle alt-rocking duo Blisshouse just released their brand new single "Sick!" and to celebrate we have asked Sam Smizek to tell us about the song. Here is the story:
Sick! initially started as a laid back, slightly bluesy acoustic progression I had been messing around with for awhile. I started recording the song, added some drums, bass and other layers and was digging what I was hearing, but I couldn't help but feel bored when I'd listen back to the song as I was continuing to write and record it. The melodies and lyrics I was trying to write just weren't flowing like they typically do when I'm inspired by a cool chord progression. I took a break from the song for a couple of days, and when I came back to the studio to try to continue developing it, the boredom was still there. I started trying to force myself to come up with lyrics and melodies, which as you can imagine, certainly wasn't helping. I got so frustrated I just started blabbering nonsense about how bored I am with the song, being stuck in the house, and just the alienation I was feeling the duration of 2020. That's when the song started to take a different turn. My laid back vocal delivery and lyrics I was initially trying to write just weren't resonating with me, as I realized I wasn't being honest with how I felt. When I started to channel how I was really feeling (sort of accidentally) by just yelling out nonsense from our home studio in Seattle (sorry neighbors), I started to tap into where my subconscious wanted to take this.
'Sick!', in my opinion, is the most aggressive song we've released. Diving into this side of Blisshouse was something I had kind of tried to shy away from up until that point, as Jacob and I previously played in a Post-Hardcore band for years. After that band ended and Blisshouse formed, I was determined to create something new. I wasn't sure where creating 'something new' would take me (or what it would even sound like), but I was eager to create whatever came to me naturally. Over the course of the next year I wrote and recorded constantly, learning music production, piano, how to sing, and how to write a song I'm truly proud of. The sound I was trying to find for so long, I was starting to manifest in my 1 bedroom apartment. That sound became the songs on our Debut EP 'home'. Those songs were definitely a departure from the style of music we had played in our previous band, a welcome departure in my mind. One thing was for sure though, I started to feel more 'at home' (get it?), more excited, and more confident in my musical potential and identity than ever before. So, I became sort of attached to the idea that the sound of the songs on 'home' is what the sound of Blisshouse would be.
Fast forward 6(fish?) months, I continued to carry this idea or mindset as I continued to write songs. The initial laid back, slightly bluesy acoustic vibe of the original idea of 'Sick!', that felt similar to songs we had written so far wasn't resonating with me, but the more aggressive vocal delivery and lyrics I was beginning to create really seemed to start inspiring me. I thought, 'well, I guess an angry acoustic song could be kind of tight, right?'. Not really. The vocal ideas started to come together but I realized how bored I still was by the vibe of the instrumental. So, instead of playing the song on an acoustic guitar like I had been doing up until that point, I started playing the progression on an electric through a distorted amp setting. I tried singing my vocal ideas with the angry, distorted sound of the guitar and that's when it really started inspiring me. The ideas started to come together pretty quickly after that, as I scratched nearly everything I had created up until that point and just tried to write. I realized I had been overthinking what was in front of me the whole time, (constantly guilty of that) which was how I was really feeling. I wasn't comfortable, chill, or happy in 2020. I was angry, alienated, and frustrated. I was Sick of the world around me, and everyone in it. Once I confronted my true feelings and started to translate them into the song, I knew exactly how it needed to sound. I wasn't thinking, "aw man, is this too aggressive or heavy? are people gonna think I'm just going back to what I was doing before?" or whatever other anxiety fueled concepts I had created in my mind anymore. I realized nobody was thinking that (as no one had heard the song yet), I was the one thinking that. Aggressively overthinking that. As cliche as it might sound, one thing I've started to realize more and more over time as a musician, is that a lot of times music, and even more so inspiration , requires less thinking and more doing. Tapping into your subconscious to find what you really want to create unknowingly is the natural expression of our creativity. For me personally in this instance, once I started to do that (again, unknowingly) I left behind all the preconceived notions I created in my own head of what Blisshouse should sound like. I realized that's how I started writing in the first place in that 1 bedroom apartment, just letting the music flow out of me, rather than the place I found myself in while I had begun to write this song which was trying to figure out how it should flow out of me and questioning nearly everything. Let me tell ya, that mindset does not make for a song you're, or at least I'm happy with. 'Sick!' sounds different than anything we've released in our opinion, and that's what I love most about it. At that moment, that's exactly how I was feeling. I just needed to realize and translate it. I know this whole explanation of the song might just sound like some anxiety fueled tangent that I just over-complicated in my own mind, which I know now I definitely did to an extent. But I had to go through it to recognize it. Blisshouse isn't about figuring everything out. it's about expressing how I truly, honestly feel. 'Sick!' felt like a major turning point for me in realizing that.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the band here