Today, November 8, Cliffdiver premiered their second EP, At Your Own Risk.
The band previously released two singles off of the collection: “Cameron Diaz” on October 4 and “Are You Still Seeing Graig, the Orthodontist?” a month later, on November 1.
Both songs received great reception; multiple publications covered the songs (including The Alternative) and “Are You Still Seeing Graig, the Orthodontist?” was added to the spotify playlist, New Punk Tracks.
At Your Own Risk consists of five songs. Beginning with “Elwood’s” and ending with “Lost in Ikea,” something of a story arc is formed. It starts with hitting rock bottom, expressing your darkest thoughts, and then delves into details of some of the most prominent ones. By the end, however, help is sought. Things start to be “alright.”
Cliffdiver has become a poster-band for depression, bringing mental health resources to their concerts and welcoming open dialogue from their fans, and it’s not surprising to see that reflected in the EP.
The group has been open about their themes since they started promoting the EP. Little tidbits of information have been revealed on their Facebook and Twitter – like:
“Two of [the songs] have never been played live,” says the band.
Cliffdiver revealed part of their writing process and some meanings behind their songs back in May in our interview, but the message is fairly straightforward. The EP is about the process of accepting your mental illness and seeking help.
“Elwood’s” starts the EP on that low note. With talk of drinking and “not [being] good enough – not for anyone, especially myself,” emotional turmoil is evident. This is a song that will tug at your heartstrings and make your chest constrict as you relate to the seemingly hopelessness of the lyrics.
The song goes into a soliloquy discussing how [he] always blamed someone else because it was easier to do that than to accept [his] problems. [He] never felt capable of changing.
However, the song foreshadows a happy ending. Mentioning getting a therapist and some sleep, the song ends on a hopeful note.
Their latest single, “Are You Still Seeing Graig, the Orthodontist?” follows. The track is more upbeat than the other one; set over the sounds of a party, the song seems to denote being in a room full of friends and feeling alone, lost in a fit of anxiety.
Third is “Alone in Your Apartment.” With loss and frustration and the passing of blame, the song is yet another tearjerker – an emotional roller-coaster that spins and sputters.
“Cameron Diaz” acts as a turning point. It serves as a reflection; it’s the moment where you realize that you’re not okay, but you can be.
Finally, “Lost in Ikea” ends the EP. The song that ties the whole collection together, it brings more than just hope; it brings acceptance. Rather than changing and giving in to the awful thoughts, “Lost in Ikea” is about slowly realizing that “[you’re] good enough, enough for anyone, and finally, [your]self.”
The final song brings aspects and lyrics from the former ones like repeating “everything’s alright” from “Are You Still Seing Graig, the Orthodontist?” and changing the “I’m not good enough” from “Elwood’s” to “I know I’m good enough.”
Each track off of At Your Own Risk is powerful and emotional. For some, it may be like listening to your own thoughts put to a melody. However, the message of “it will get better” and “you are good enough” spins the low notes into a positive light.
You can listen to At Your Own Risk below, and you can also watch the music video they created for “Cameron Diaz.” The band will also be on tour over the next few weeks; be sure to catch them in a city near you. Check out Cliffdiver on all social media and music streaming sites.