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Breaking’s new single is a romantic shoegaze epic

Listen to “Cars / After Cars,” a new song from Breaking’s three-years in-the-making debut album.

August 21, 2020

New York-based musician Austin Johnson makes music as Breaking, but he's also a filmmaker. Maybe that explains the dynamic range of "Cars / After Cars," his romantic epic of a new single, premiering above. There's keen attention here paid to foreground and background, light and shade — synths drift to one side and guitars squall to another; drum hits come in and out of focus, blurring the line between live drums and drum machine.

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A driving shoegaze track that shifts into ambient scene-setting, "Cars / After Cars" — which is actually two songs, sewn into one here — is a heady introduction to Breaking, Johnson's debut album, set for release next Friday (August 28) via Orchid Tapes. Pre-order Breaking here, and read what Johnson has to say about "Cars / After Cars" below.

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This is the only song I think I’ve ever written lyrics as a poem before writing the music. I wrote it one summer on my way to therapy. I didn’t write it with any explicit meaning or end goal in mind, or even write it to become a song, but I think it’s about anxiety. Anxiety has played such a weird role in my life, it paints every wall of every room. I’ve tried all the tricks to try to heal myself in the moment, and nothing seems to work. Through breathing, through movement, through wanting, I begin to hurt. Acknowledging anxiety is sometimes anxiety inducing. Ignorance could be a form of solace in some ways, but feeling the pain is key to understanding and overcoming. You have to go deeper to pass through. After Cars is giving in: question after question, spiral after spiral, ending after ending, after after after. — Austin Johnson, Breaking

Breaking’s new single is a romantic shoegaze epic