Ten Kills The Pack Shares Lead Single “Mess” From Forthcoming EP ‘Life, Death, & Afterwards’
August 6, 2020 BY Nettwerk
Toronto’s Ten Kills The Pack (Sean Sroka) will release his new EP Life, Death, & Afterwards on February, 26 2021. He introduces it with lead single “Mess,” a dark and gorgeous moment on this deeply personal EP that is carried by Sroka’s acoustic strumming and frank, earnest vocals detailing struggles with depression from his past.
Sroka explains, “Mess’ derives from a stage in my life where I would try to mask really low and dark moments with drinking or whatever else. My mistake with depression was trying to push past it instead of leaning into it, learning, and understanding it. The song’s not only about hiding your shit, your mess, and pretending everything’s ok, but its core stems from the heart-breaking moments of expecting its arrival and knowing that it’s all going to happen again. Which is sad, nerve wracking, and difficult. It took a really long time to write because it took a really long time to come to terms with what was happening.”
He adds, “In the Covid era, I feel fortunate to be able to translate the hurricane of this world into different forms of art. I can actually engage with my mental state and give it some relief. This was especially the case when it came to creating the video for this song.”
The accompanying video was conceived and directed by Sroka while in quarantine in Toronto. “I tend to usually art-direct or create all my album artwork, show posters, and conceptualize all the video pieces. However, the isolation combined with the issues this pandemic has created for the industry really pushed me into even more territories, including full on ‘directing.’ Oddly enough, my father used to direct music videos, so for some reason it almost felt natural. I had this low-lying confidence to achieve these rough ‘run and gun’ frames I was envisioning. Once restrictions began to lift, my number one thought was ‘how can I safely make a video piece for this song?’ My second thought was ‘how can I express the state of a pandemic world and the essence of this song?’ We figured it all out, and I’m so happy to be sharing it.”
The contemporary folk artist made his mark in recent years by blending together literate, poetic observances and incisive musings on the human condition with cunningly composed and hard-hitting songcraft and instrumentation. His acclaimed 2019 debut release, Force Majeure, introduced his talents through the lens of a defined Toronto cityscape and its cosmopolitan hustle, bustle, beauty, and heartache.
Now, with Life, Death, & Afterwards—produced by Dave Cerminera (Father John Misty, Cold War Kids, Dawes)—Sroka has expanded his scope to focus on even bigger targets—a search for interpersonal purpose, and the clarity that comes from space and growth—while losing none of the intimacy nor observant expressiveness for which Ten Kills The Pack has become known. Life, Death, & Afterwards realizes the potential of his debut to deliver on all promised levels and plant Sroka firmly at the forefront of this exciting new folk music landscape.
Stay tuned for more news from Ten Kills The Pack.