Song Review: Coma Girls – “Candles”

Los Angeles-based project Coma Girls delivers a piece that’s emotionally raw and intensely personal with their new single “Candles”. The track beautifully amalgamates the gentle nuances of folk rock with the tumultuous ferocity associated with shoegaze, drawing immediate comparisons to the likes of Bright Eyes and Deerhunter.

“Candles” starts with a melodic resonance, a harmony that feels simultaneously soothing and unsettling. It’s an introspective journey, painting a vivid picture of the internal battles faced by those wrestling with addiction. The opening lines, “When you’re taking your time, You are a freight train, lovie,” carry a double-edged sentiment—hinting at the unstoppable force of addiction, and the weight it carries, barreling down one’s life like a relentless freight train. The lyric “Darling, I’m always on your side” is a poignant reminder of the unconditional support and love that addicts often have but might overlook during their darkest hours.

The song’s crescendo is a sweeping expanse of distorted guitars, a sonic metaphor for the chaotic turbulence of addiction. As Chris Spino, the mind behind Coma Girls, repeats the heart-wrenching mantra “Leave your candles lit / My pain keeps burning on and on and on,” one can’t help but be reminded of the lingering effects of addiction—how the scars of the past continue to burn long after the flame has been extinguished.

The depth of “Candles” becomes even more profound when placed in the context of the LP ‘Crystal Pistol’. Here, Chris Spino offers a candid confession, detailing his struggles with addiction and subsequent journey towards recovery. The album stands as a testament to Spino’s talent and resilience, metamorphosing intimate folk-rock stories into massive waves of shoegaze chaos. It’s evident in tracks like “Back to the Source” with its upbeat rhythm juxtaposed against introspective lyrics, and the solemn “33”, capturing the weight of regrets and the hope for redemption.

Spino’s evolution is not just musical but also personal. From his earlier days, experimenting with diverse genres like punk, jangle-pop, metal, and jazz-rock, he has found his authentic voice in Coma Girls—a project that resonates with his soul’s desires. His journey from a plethora of bands to the deeply personal Coma Girls showcases the artist’s growth and self-discovery. The themes explored in ‘Crystal Pistol’ resonate with listeners because of their stark authenticity. Spino doesn’t shy away from the uncomfortable; instead, he embraces it, using his music as a medium to share, heal, and connect.

In conclusion, “Candles” is not just a song—it’s an experience. It’s a reflection of the vulnerability, pain, hope, and resilience that make up the human experience. It’s a track that demands attention, not just for its musical prowess but for the story it tells and the emotions it evokes. With influences ranging from Elliott Smith to Jay Reatard, Coma Girls’ “Candles” shines bright, illuminating the shadows of addiction and the possibility of redemption. A masterpiece in every sense, this track is a must-listen for anyone seeking a deep emotional and musical journey.

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