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Inbox Jukebox Presents: Best Ex’s New EP ‘Good at Feeling Bad’

Photo: Natalie Sparaccio

Jump in your car and go for a drive with today’s Inbox Jukebox Presents blasting through your speakers. Best Ex’s new EP Good at Feeling Bad is the kind of indie pop daydream you need to experience with nothing but the open road ahead and your emotions fueling the direction you take.

Good At Feeling Bad is totally built on home state pride. In so many ways, it felt like a throwback to my roots,” singer/songwriter Mariel Loveland says. The EP is cinematic, making you think of long summer days and the endless possibilities they hold. “Gap Tooth (On My Mind)” kicks off the EP with a euphoric anthem for allowing yourself to feel all the highs and lows of love. “Lemons” switches up the tempo to the bittersweet tale of friendship and realizing your worth, wrapped up in a bubbly indie pop tune. “The songs had to feel good driving on the Garden State Parkway while sipping a big soda. That’s how I listened to my favorite albums growing up. That’s how you can tell a good song is a great song.”

“I really am that girl who sings under her breath or into her cellphone in public, like all the time.”

“Feed the Sharks” takes a darker turn, looking at the difficulties faced by women everyday, particularly in music. “I think ‘Feed The Sharks’ was the hardest to write. I wrote it about how it felt when I tried to use my voice for good — when I tried to stand up about my abuse and the abuse women habitually face in the music industry thinking it would help someone else. It was spun out in the press into something completely awful and untrue. It felt like nobody believed me.” It’s the kind of song that won’t leave your head or your heart, making you think of every infuriating time you’ve had to “prove yourself” for no reason. The chorus will become a mantra you march to. “I actually had to go back in and re-record some of the vocals because I was struggling to sing the parts. I’ve never had to do that before, but I was too anxious rehashing that stuff. It made me really sad, and I had to give it some space and come back and try again.”

Each song feels like a snapshot in time, emotions wrapped up in delicate melodies that explode with irresistible drumbeats and fuzzy guitars. Whether it’s the late night slinking through the dark streets with the seductive “Bad Love” or the sleepy taxi ride home of piano ballad “The Two of Us”, Loveland explores what different kinds of love looks like, whether it’s of another person or a place, a dream or a feeling. “A lot of this album was written in transit, whether it was a train, bus, car, or walk. I think that’s generally how I write best,” Loveland says.

The title track ends the EP on a high—it explores the freedom of admitting that it’s okay not to be okay sometimes. You won’t be able to resist the pull of the drums or the sheer exhilaration when the sax hits, it’ll leave you singing the words at the top of your lungs. Good at Feeling Bad will help you connect with how you’re feeling in the moment and sweep you up in how beautiful that can be. 

Fun Fact About Good at Feeling Bad:

“Somewhere over the last few years I more or less lost my sense of smell. I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten because it was a slow burn, but then when I was recording the last song on this EP, I got out of my car to go into a session and smelled the ocean. I had forgotten what the ocean smelled like. I’d like to think this was a sign from the universe that with this EP, I was maybe finally healing from a lot of the pain I sang about on this record, the earliest of which began when I started noticing my sense of smell was gone. But I’m also releasing an EP during a global pandemic, which seems like a much stronger sign to shut up, so we don’t listen to signs from the universe anymore.”

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