Until The Ribbon Breaks

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The first Until the Ribbon Breaks album was released back in 2015. I wore it out, which is quite appropriate considering the band name refers to listening to audio cassettes until their ribbons break from overuse. It also doubles as a nod to VHS tapes, since British frontman Pete Lawrie-Winfield initially studied film and continues to explore the connection between music and visuals.

After their well-received first album, UTRB went eerily silent for several years. It wasn’t until the lead up to their 2018 album (pictured) that Pete shared the reason for the delay: his slippery descent into alcoholism and the ensuing struggle for sobriety. During his early days on tour, he drank to take the edge off before performances. In a newsletter to fans in September 2017, he wrote that drinking was “only the promise of oblivion and for me, the temporary quieting of a loud, pervasive and almost constant voice of anxiety… In the end, I no longer knew if I was drinking because I was anxious, or anxious because I was drinking.”

Eventually, he fought his way back to sobriety and found his friend and fellow band member, Elliot Wall, patiently waiting. The new album was born from a place of raw humility in the wake of disaster and self-forgiveness in the midst of recovery. I love this album because it’s vulnerable and full of hard-won hope. It’s both a confession and a work of healing.

One song in particular, Petrichor, gives me permission to let go of the shame I’ve been holding onto. Petrichor is a word describing the refreshing smell of rain after a long dry spell. A perfect analogy for new beginnings.

And all is forgiven, all is replaced
This is the cherry lipstick smeared across your face
And it's not wrong, it's not wrong, it's not wrong
It's moving on