by Julia Leiby
The Philly-via-Ohio four piece SPORTS have a knack for delving into the different emotions that come with relationships - the joy, longing, and fights that come when you're in it with someone for the long haul. Last week they released a split with San Francisco-based shoegaze project Plush, lead by the powerful and emotive songwriters Karli Roberts-Helm and Eva Treadway. Released on Father/Daughter Records, the split features two songs from SPORTS - "Making It Right" and "Calling Out," and one from Plush entitled "50/50 20/20." The first track, "Making It Right," is a nearly manic pop ripper of a song, only one minute and forty five seconds long and it concerns tension in an relationship. "Do you think this is working? / I don't know but my heart is in your hands," singer Carmen Perry belts out, sounding a little pained as she opens up about her concerns. Guitarist Jack Washburn's lead riffs add a bright undertone to the song and his backup vocals are a warm addition to hers. It segues cleanly into the next song, which features fast, punk power chords as Perry and Washburn sing, "If you're calling out today, I guess I'm calling out today!"
The final track by Plush is a moody depiction of a relationship's disintegration. "We were never good for each other - let that sink in!" Karli shouts out, distancing herself from her partner. Karli's lush voice melts into the slow and honey-sweet guitar until midway through the six minute song when Eva Treadway takes the lead. Once Eva starts singing, the song takes a much more distorted, darker and heavier turn. She paints an evocative picture of a destructive relationship, be it with herself or a partner, as she sings lyrics like, "If you light me on fire babe you'll keep yourself warm / But if I'm the tornado you're chasing the storm." Despite the length of the song, it breezes by because of the intensity of both vocalists and the subject matter. The split's three songs bounce off each other well and are all united by their impressive portrayal of modern relationships.