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A Magazine for Sheffield

Annie DiRusso God, I Hate This Place

The Nashville-based indie rocker captures the push and pull of growing up in her new five-track EP.

Released: 24 February 2023
God, I Hate This Place

Nashville and NYC influence more than just Annie DiRusso’s music style, as her first EP God, I Hate This Place toys with what the idea of home truly means to her.

As if the title wasn’t gripping enough, in the first track of the EP, DiRusso transports the listener to her childhood with the stark, unexpected lyrics: “Baptised by a paedophile in a church that reeks of oak and death.” Stripped back like the suburban, peaceful image conjured at the beginning of the song, this feels like her origin story. As it evolves, guitar builds to meet with drums, the push and pull of growing up. The weight that the silent spaces hold is so characteristic of DiRusso’s music that even though new themes are explored, it is recognisably brilliant.

Despite starting off slowly, the movement in ‘Body’ from distorted to acoustic guitar, and the variation between sparse vocals to ones with added effects, builds anticipation and mimics the contrasting perspective that age brings to self-worth and identity. Perhaps one of the most vulnerable songs on the EP, it feels like a letter to her younger self and an acknowledgement of her struggles. Retrospective and moody, ‘Body’ is one of the more soothing songs here because of its slower tempo and instrumental nature, a welcome change from the more upbeat tracks that surround it.

Similarly, despite starting off lyrically simplistic, ‘Frisco Forever’ is moving, showing yet more liminal encounters of aching for the comfort of home whilst simultaneously experiencing very adult issues of unwanted encounters with past memories. The changes in key feel disorienting at first but becomes more captivating as the song progresses.

God, I Hate This Place feels curated especially for a newly-fledged adult struggling to come to terms with saying goodbye to their childhood nest. From "what if I cleaned my room and we fucked," to, "put on my last clean pair of underwear, the ones that I hate," to, "I’ll make some lunch, go grab a coffee, put up my hair, maybe do some laundry," and, "all my bookshelves are covered in dust," each song nods towards the menial aspects of adulthood. The importance granted to these moments shows how much thought has been put into the lyrics, which emphasise that however hard growing up can be, beauty can always be found in the little things.

by Cat Caie (she/they)
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