Rising Los Angeles songwriter McCall has shared the dreamy new single “One Eye Open”. It’s off her upcoming EP, On Self Loathing, due out sometime later this summer.
McCall first began to break out with her 2019 EP Under the Reign. She specializes in what she calls “sad bops with spice,” and that certainly applies to her new offering. “One Eye Open” is fashioned around achingly personal lyrics and pared-back piano. Meanwhile, the studio effects — or her “spicy” ingredient — find McCall sounding like a kid in a candy store.
The SoCal native arranges her own voice into a grand chorus, at times evoking Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek”. But she uses this technique sparingly, and as often as she builds out the top line, she demolishes it back to simplicity. She also worked a series of breaks into the song, preceding moments of silence with a noise like a roaring fire or distant electronic beeps. “One Eye Open” could’ve played out as a solo piano performance or sugary pop anthem. McCall prefers something a little more unexpected, though, with her great joy in music-making balancing out the pained verses.
In a statement, McCall explains that “One Eye Open” is about dating with unhealed traumas. She adds,
“On the surface, it’s about trying to enter into a new relationship before you have fully healed from the last one. In a darker sense, this song is about the PTSD that arises after a physically and mentally abusive relationship. When someone, who claims to love you, manipulates, gaslights, and physically harms you, it tears down your trust in yourself and your trust in the people around you. I often think ‘well, I believed that X loved me even when they were abusive, so I must not have a good sense of character, therefore I will most likely pick an abusive partner in the future, so I should probably just not date, or have friends, or feel anything at all, because if I do I’m going to end up where I was when I was 18.”
Check out “One Eye Open” below. Her new EP, On Self Loathing, doesn’t have a release date, but is expected in the next month or two. Previously, McCall shared the lead single “Disaster”.