Premiere: Careful explores painful intimacy on bare-bones new single ‘I had a secret’

Last month, the San Francisco-based Eric Lindley resumed activity as Careful after a hiatus of nearly a decade, announcing his intention to release a new EP in September. Today, Lindley shares the collection’s stripped-back second single. If ‘I had a secret’ sounds like a forgotten relic of another time, smothered in cassette artefacts and lo-fi hum, that’s intentional.

It explores the very idea of keeping secrets, its narrator too dedicated to ensuring a long-buried one stays that way to realise nobody really cares anymore, if they ever did. “‘I had a secret’ is about the contrast between the burden of secrets to the person keeping them, versus the near-irrelevance they have to nearly everyone else. The singer describes a lifetime (many lifetimes?) of shame, cruelty, self-destruction, and hedonism, all because of or in order to bury some secret, and yet is able to acknowledge that in the end, no one else ever cared. I wanted the song to feel like a relic recovered long after the singer had gone: the secret doesn’t matter to the listener either, but they can feel how much anguish it must have caused. Cassette tape artefacts, thin bare saxophones, and a warm bed of distortion come together to degrade the otherwise formal songwriting.”

Running to just over two minutes, its painfully intimate sound is offset by the kind of masterful melodic songwriting Lindley’s long since made his trademark. We’ve got your first listen below; the Promise/Practice EP is out Friday September 22nd.

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