Pulling influence from bands like The Hotelier and Midwest Pen Pals, I love the fact that You Rest, You Joy Life are decidedly a Not Emo™ band. It’s not hard to see why they’ve decided on the Not Emo™ brand either, as the death of genre staples You Blew It! came with a statement from Tanner Jones that saw a discussion on how much he loves the genre, but feels like the word emo held them back from reaching more people than they could have should indie-rock be their sole identifier. I guess it’s because, to most people, emo never stopped being a dirty word. It’ll always be overdrawn eyeliner and tight black pants or teased hair and coon tails.

That idea alone stops so many people from giving bands that fall into the emo umbrella a fair shot. They don’t care about the potential musical prestige of the band — they just can’t shake the tropes of emo. It’s ironic then, that You Rest, You Joy life opted to namedrop one of the biggest bands in the genre as an influence.

It’s hard to not draw comparisons to their influences; “Black Coffee” borrows enough from the melody The Hotelier’s “Housebroken” that you could argue the two as related. And true to what we’ve come to expect from releases of the three letter word variety, Just To Be On Something is a dynamic record full of quiet moments that give way to explosive and thrashing sections of cathartic emotional collapse.

When asked about the record, Josh Cowdrey said: “With this EP we decided to embrace experimentation, and actually found our footing as a collaborative unit in doing so. We placed greater emphasis on the songwriting this time around; we wanted every line, melody, and chord to mean something, to contribute to the song and record as a whole. This is a collection of songs about love, being in love, loving love, and longing for it. Even through some of the darker themes and sounds, the core element is love, and that’s what we’ve always been about: loving what we create together as a band, loving the people we create it with, and spreading love through our work. And isn’t that what music is for, anyways?”

You can stream Just To Be On One in full below.

Just To Be On Something is out February 27th on Have Fun Records. Snag your copy of the record here.