After three years on the road, the New York singer Mal Blum returns with a refreshing directness, a hungry turtle and "Things Still Left To Say." In their first new song since the 2015 album You Look a Lot Like Me, Blum confronts an estranged relationship where so much has been left unresolved. Though hard, Blum stresses the importance of being truthful, especially while "we're all still here."
The upbeat, punk-pop power chords and infectious lyrics are accompanied appropriately by a karaoke-style video. Along with the neon pink and blue text stretching across the screen with every line, a montage of clips shows people dancing and singing into the camera to "Things Still Left To Say." In the background, Blum is laid out in a plant-filled living room, feeding lettuce to a turtle. Vibrant and liberating in all it's awkward glory, what shines through is Blum's signature, self-effacing honesty.
"'Things Still Left To Say' is a song about the desire and persistence to be heard," Blum tells us in an email. "About times when we swallow or deflect vulnerable aspects of ourselves because we feel that there is no space for them. This song is about navigating that distance, the specific flavor of isolation (so awkward that it's almost comical) that occurs when you feel unknown in front of those who think that they know you the best."
Blum repeats a kind of mantra in the chorus, "There are thing still left to say / I've got phrases / I've got phrases." It's a reminder to keep those words close, just in case you get a chance to set them free.
"Things Still Left To Say" is out now on Don Giovanni Records, and Blum will be back on tour with Lucy Dacus and Fenne Lily in March.