Written by Lisa Melograno
Best Ex, Mariel Loveland’s indie-pop act, is releasing their new EP, Good At Feeling Bad, today via No Sleep Records. Not only did Loveland change the name from Candy Hearts to Best Ex, but she also made a significant musical shift with more synth-pop influences.
After a few years of ups and downs, Good at Feeling Bad captures Loveland’s metamorphosis to a better place of acceptance. “To me, this EP is a middle finger from a woman who’s over it and finds happiness regardless of the things that constantly try to knock us down,” says Loveland.
The first track, “Gap Tooth (On My Mind),” is an energetic track with heavy beats and catchy lyrics. Loveland sings about being so absorbed in a relationship that ended. Having made him her whole world she contemplates what she’ll do, “Maybe I’ll go out and kiss a couple of guys, maybe I’ll try on somebody else’s life. Maybe you’re the one who’s always on my mind and I’m terrified.” The song ends on a positive note looking forward to happier times. Lemons, while musically most exhilarative, was written from a place of realization of friendship and abandonment.
“Bad Love,” the first single off the EP is a melancholic emo-pop song it’s a tale of love based on poor choices. “Feed The Sharks” was the most difficult for Loveland to write. A year after going public about the abuse, she details the feeling of worthlessness brought on by the abuser and that she isn’t the person she was told she was.
She overthinks “Feed the Sharks” all the emotions all feelings of blame, self-assurance, and hate, “until they feel sick.” The track starts slow and dramatic and transitions to a driving dance beat as she is rationalizing through the process of healing. Following “Feed The Sharks” is the song “Two of Us,” a solemn piano ballad describing two people trying to work on a relationship even though they know it’s not meant to be. The connection is there but “it will never be enough.” The title track “Good at Feeling Bad” is an upbeat tune that looks at the good in life despite the bad.
Good at Feeling Bad is an introspective look at love and loss between friends and lovers and the transformation into a better more positive self. While the tone is somber and sad, the pulsating beats and synthesized upbeat melody will have anyone dancing through their troubles.