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RORY ROLLINS

Only Sibling

Only Sibling’s debut full-length Get Well Soon has an introspective self-awareness that sets it apart. Striking a balance between volume and subtlety, aggression and melody, the album explores the challenges of pursuing a passion while trying to maintain the many other aspects of life.

The members of Only Sibling—Alex Basovskiy (vocals, guitar), Jordan Torres (guitar, vocals), Damian LaRocco (bass), and Alex Allen (drums)—met in high school and bonded over their shared love of ‘90s alternative, shoegaze, and emo. Bringing those influences together to make something distinctly their own, they soon released Only Sibling’s 2016 debut EP, What Keeps Me Up At Night. The EP opened the door to signing with Other People Records and the band began pouring themselves into the new material that would become Get Well Soon.

As Only Sibling gained momentum, Basovskiy began feeling torn between everyday life and his devotion to music. “A lot of this record ended up being about trying to figure out my relationship with everyone around me,” he explains. “It’s about trying to really think about why you do the things you do, and when you might be the problem.” He was fresh out of college with a degree in finance and no interest in it, and music was becoming a point of contention with his parents and causing the deterioration of his romantic relationship. But Basovskiy couldn’t turn off the bone-deep need to express himself through songwriting. “There’s an intangible feeling that I get from playing music that I’m constantly chasing,” he says. “Even though it causes conflict and doesn’t offer any stability.”

Get Well Soon captures the essence of this feeling: the unburdening of pent up frustration through loud guitars, pounding drums, and shouted lyrics. The band recorded the album in Fort Collins, Colorado with producer, engineer, and Gleemer mastermind Cory Coffman, whose ability to blend shimmering atmospherics with cathartic volume paired perfectly with their evolving sound. “We all love ‘90s rock and we wanted to make things a bit more streamlined with this record, but we also wanted to incorporate that shoegaze-esque guitar sound,” Basovskiy says. “Cory got that vibe immediately and made it really easy.” The album’s opening salvo of “Screen Door” and “Loser” wastes no time in demonstrating Only Sibling’s knack for seamlessly merging various elements of the alt rock canon into something unique. The former a fuzzed-out barnburner and the latter a boiling mid-tempo shout-along, both songs lay out Get Well Soon’s lyrical stakes as Basovskiy takes stock of fraying interpersonal relationships and incongruent priorities. With its effects-drenched guitars and Allen’s driving beat, “My Violet” is an ode to making music that also confronts the fear of not being able to achieve certain other goals, while “And I Hate It” looks at the cost of focusing too narrowly on those benchmarks.

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