Mol Sullivan isn’t going to let us off the hook. “Bury the Hatchet” is an earworm built around unexpected structures and inventive pop-infused melodies. The Cincinnati-based songwriter’s new EP, A Little Hello, took a circuitous path through struggle and recovery to find its footing in a space where hard questions don’t get buried, and her voice is ready to, as she puts it, “howl a bit.”
“Bury the Hatchet” explores how avoidance and intimacy conspire to bring on longing and heartbreak. Sullivan is pointed, asking in the opening verse over emotive guitar leads and buoyant keyboard arrangements, “How can we bury the hatchet when you’re keeping it hidden? How can we unearth the truth and still find room for forgiveness?” Presented through a narrative that sees a wide-eyed version of Sullivan dressed as a cowgirl, navigating a bright-hued world where the cracks are beginning to show. It’s an incredible, strangely-moving video directed and produced by Sullivan.
As she repeats the chorus, “What a shame,” over and over, the realization that this desire for openness isn’t going to be returned sets in. Her expressions heighten the lyrics’ emotional impact. “I was just trying to get through to you,” she croons, “But it turns out, I guess, that was too hard to do.” It’s straightforward, but the lilting timbre of her voice makes it hit so hard.
When scenes shift to Sullivan’s other side, we are wide awake. A sharp-edged guitar solo and classic “Yeehaw!” send us into the distance. Sullivan tapped into something timeless and unforgettable on “Bury the Hatchet,” using grit and courage to show so much vulnerability that it’s impossible not to feel a deep connection.
Ruination Records will release A Little Hello on cassette and digital formats on February 3. Pre-order HERE.