San Diego melodic hardcore band Bent Blue put out an expanded edition of their 2020 demo earlier this year, and now they're set to release a new EP, Where Do Ripples Go?, on July 29 via WAR Records digitally, with vinyl arriving August 19 (pre-order). New single "Halfway" finds them going in a slower, softer direction than usual -- it sounds a little like Fiddlehead -- and it's the most personal song that vocalist Tony Bertolino has ever written. Here's what he tells us about it:

We’re releasing a new record called Where Do Ripples Go? and "Halfway" is the major outlier of the record. It’s mid-tempoed, has somewhat cleaner vocals, and has a more traditional song structure than anything we’ve ever done. It came together in one early, random jam session we had during a time when we were all heavily listening to our favorite early emo and post-hardcore bands. We occasionally wondered if the song was too different to release with Bent Blue, but in the end it just seemed to work. I’m really proud of how this song turned out.

"Halfway" is the most personal song I’ve ever written lyrics for. Just before we wrote "Halfway" as a band, I went through the 15 year anniversary of my dad’s death and it rocked me harder than anything since the day I found out he was killed. I struggled with several weeks of severe depression before recognizing that what hurt me the most was how little I had begun to think of him over the years. I was scared by how much time had passed and how hazy some of the memories I have of him were becoming. And I had to acknowledge that a part of these fading memories was linked to my efforts to suppress any pain I felt about losing him. It was default self-preservation.

Out of that recognition came a realization that I could willingly endure little doses of grief and pain in order to keep my memories of him alive. Losing someone is inherently sad and it’s inherently painful. But it’s ok to face those emotions. I didn’t face the pain of loss for a long time and it caught-up with me in a bad way. And so that’s what the song is about. Leaving the door of grief intentionally opened halfway to keep our memories of those we’ve lost alive. That willful acknowledgement has really helped me grieve. Writing this song was also really helpful in my struggle to be more vulnerable. I didn’t realize how hard this song would be for me in the studio. The outtro to Halfway will always be particularly special to me. What you hear vocally at the end of the song is me battling tears and trying not to ruin the words with a lump in my throat. I just hope this song helps someone else who’s having a hard time right now.

Listen below.

Bent Blue are also gearing up for a tour with Long Island emo torch-carriers Stand Still (whose upcoming EP you can get on limited splatter vinyl), and they've also got a Long Island show without Stand Still on July 29 at Frogzz Saloon. All dates are listed below.

Bent Blue -- 2022 Tour Dates
July 29 - Long Island, NY - Frogzz Saloon
July 31 - Richmond, VA - The Camel*
Aug 1 - Raleigh, NC - School Kids Records*
Aug 2 - Atlanta, GA - Sabbath Brewery*
Aug 3 - Tallahassee, FL - The Bark*
Aug 4 - Evansville, IN - Damsel’s*
Aug 6 - Toledo, OH - Ottowa Tavern*

* - w/ Stand Still

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