Emily Kinney may no longer be fleeing from zombies on The Walking Dead, but she’s still on the run from bad love. Kinney has been writing and releasing her own music since 2011’s Blue Toothbrush EP. In 2013, she picked up her acoustic guitar again to outline the emotional highs and lows of a relationship with her follow-up EP, Expired Love. While those releases focused on a sense of defeat, she’s now taking charge of her life. This was evident in her impassioned Treehouse Session earlier this summer, and now she’s taking her determined message to the masses with her debut full-length. Entitled This Is War, she’s previewed the October 2nd release with a new song called “Mess”.
“I wrote this after realizing I generally felt worse and less organized and kind of mean and crazy every time I hung out with this person, but I guess I was addicted to that feeling and maybe kind of still am,” Kinney tells Consequence Of Sound. “I especially love the mandolin parts on this recording, the way they peek through the rest of the arrangement at certain moments, performed by my friend Simon Kafka.”
Though the song’s light acoustic aesthetic may lean more twee than thrash, she shows affection for rebellion. As a star of Masters Of Sex, it should be no surprise how sexually aggressive some of the lyrics can be. She outlines bruises on her neck, hair pulling and ripping dresses while simultaneously mixing in adorable metaphors about ankle bracelets. It’s like a twee Fifty Shades Of Grey, playing with the listeners perceptions of Kinney and her genre.
The song’s video comes from fan Laura Pytrykow, who had entered Kinney’s contest lip synch/cover contest for her track “Birthday Cake”. Kinney was taken by Pytrykow’s entry, but since it wasn’t actually a lip synch or cover, it couldn’t be selected as a winner. As one heck of a consolation prize, Kinney tapped her to create the lyric video for “Mess”. Listen in and watch the video below.
Revisit Kinney’s Treehouse Session below.