By Cynthia Gross
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“Anything That Feels Good,” the latest EP from D.C.-based artist Square Meal Laboratories, is a delightfully vibrant and impeccably produced collection of songs with tons of personality. The EP explores relatable themes, including arguing and reconciling with loved ones and struggling to overcome daily setbacks and insecurities.
The EP clocks in at just a little more than 6 minutes – and yet, audiences are taken on an exiting journey within that space, where every second is intentional and meaningful. “Anything That Feels Good” stays true to the distinct dream and glitch pop sound for which Square Meal Laboratories is known.
“I’ve always liked concept albums with a theme, but the trend right now is to release singles,” explains Marc Capponi, the namesake behind Square Meal Laboratories. “My solution has been to create EPs that you might call ‘concept singles.’ They are really short EPs that contain a few songs that flow together seamlessly,” he adds.
“I Could Grow Up for You,” the lead single, is the most commercial track on the EP, with its danceable beat and groovy bass line. “I don’t wanna fight with you / In spite of this, sometimes I do / I don’t mean to, but I seem to anyway,” guest vocalist Phoebe sings. And later, “I don’t know why I say things that / Sound so stupid I don’t mean it.”
The second track, “Peace and Happiness” is the most experimental, with its industrial, robotic, spoken-word vibe. The lyrics “peace and happiness” hover over the track in a loop, suggesting that retaining harmony in relationships sometimes requires us to carefully parse our language and refrain from saying exactly what would feel good. “Peace and Happiness” represents the moment of grating tension before you lose your cool during a heated argument.
The EP closes with a lovely stripped-down ballad, “Inch by Painful Inch,” which symbolizes the point of reconciliation in a relationship where both parties decided to make up and try again. The track is delicate, hopeful, and optimistic.
“Even when there’s dark, there is a distant light, shining bright / Like the sun, it always comes around and / That’s when I know everything will be okay / Like the day we met,” Phoebe sings in the moving final lines of “Inch by Painful Inch,” supported by piano, strings, and atmospheric elements.
Capponi is a 10-time Wammie Award winner for his work with children-themed band Rocknoceros. In 2020, Square Meal Laboratories won the Veneto West Records “Army of Love” remix contest.
“Anything That Feels Good” serves as an important reminder that each day holds the promise of a new opportunity to try again – in peace, happiness, and love.
Stay tuned for Square Meal Laboratories’ upcoming release, “Circle of Breath,” also featuring guest vocalist Phoebe, who Capponi notes is a brilliant creative partner despite the fact they have not yet met in person due to recording in the age of COVID-19.
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Maryland-based singer-songwriter Cynthia Gross seeks to inspire an awakening to all we are and all we can become. With a passion for language in all of its forms and more than a decade of experience as a professional ghostwriter, she is a light seeker who understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.
As the leader of nineties pop rockers 4 Non Blondes Linda Perry broke down barriers in the male dominates music business and created one of the decade’s most catchy songs: “What’s Up?” Perry released one stellar album with the band before going out on her own.
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