Photo by Ashley Gellman
Philadelphia’s Major Pursuit started out as an acoustic project for frontwoman Olivia Bellito before blossoming into the band you’re about to fall in love with. The addition of Rachel Wild hasn’t led them away from the project’s initial vision: to act as a vessel for a fourteen-year-old Olivia to express herself in a way that she didn’t feel comfortable doing in regular conversation. Days and nights have come to pass, Olivia has gotten older and experienced more of the joys and sorrows that come with being human, and the songwriting on the projects second LP, With Feeling, is reflective of both her empathy and willingness to open herself up to a room full of people — even if it’s only for the night.
“When It’s Convenient For You” sees Bellito and company at their most contemplative; Olivia spends the first chunk of the song diving deep into the waters of a person that she can’t seem to shift her focus from. The opening lyric reeks of telling conversation and deeply personal confessions that feel the most secure in the ears of strangers, and I’ve yet to not get the chills from hearing Olivia’s voice reflect the emotional lump in the throat that comes from singing “Did you cry when your mom got sick?/Or were you numb by then?/I want to know you.”
As the song continues, the tides begin to shift. The desire to know and grow with the subject has shifted to a need to move forward and forget. The person that she was once enamored by has disappeared to the point that only the name remains. It’s a dark, cold transition from friends into strangers, but not an uncommon one. She does a brilliant job of illustrating the heartache behind it as she powers through the lyrics, “It must be nice not to care/But you’re not nice/Did you see me standing there?/Behind you at the show?/I think I’ll go.” And all at once it begins to swell. The drums hit a little harder and Olivia’s voice has become more declarative; she walks a fine line between singing and shouting the track’s most powerful and final refrain: “I thought you were what I wanted, but I was wrong.”
When asked about the track, Bellito says: “‘When It’s Convenient For You’ was written long before we even knew if this release would be an EP or full length. It’s about a few different things,mainly the awkward encounter of seeing someone you know (or used to) out and about, and not really knowing whether you should say hi, or pretend you didn’t see them, etc. This song has been opening up my sets since I was playing acoustic sets, so it’s nice to be able to capture the way it felt to play it solo when we play as a full band.”
With Feeling is out May 25th on Utica Records and can be pre-ordered here.