Getting stuck in a rut is one of the worst feelings. When you’re trying to create something new or just get ahead in life and you keep getting pushed backwards, the frustration builds. It’s not just minor annoyance, either. The stress can build up until you’re ready to burst and feel like you’re never going to get where you need to go. I would wager the vast majority of creatives have felt this, and Chris Ayer and LACES (Jessica Vaughn) are no exception. They’re venting their frustrations on new single “Running in Reverse,” which you can hear on Substream today.

If you’ve felt this way you know how defeating it is, and “Running in Reverse” captures that mood incredibly well. The first verse contains very little in the way of production, instead centering on Ayer voicing his weariness and pain. Ayer and LACES are both fine vocalists, and their voices fit well together, with LACES especially delivering on the harmonies. The chorus contains the same sense of sorrow, but there’s more force behind the delivery here. The music adds more instruments and a bigger sound, but it never strays from the emotional heart the two performers bring to the table.

The writing of “Running in Reverse” was very much a collaboration. Ayer explains:

“This song is about feeling like you’ve lost the way and you don’t fit with the world around you when you look around. It’s about noticing how the things you do can contradict your intention to rise above the struggle, and the ways in which you’re habits can make you feel stuck and powerless, and how hard it it is to imagine mustering up the energy to change everything. I wrote it with my friend LACES, and we found ourselves finding the message and truth behind it something we both really related to, so it felt like the perfect song to sing together.”

Take a listen to “Running in Reverse” now.