Though they broke onto the scene amid online fervor for fifth-wave emo, Billings, Montana outfit Hey, ily gets harder to pin down on every new track (and catchier, as a bonus), including their new single “Stress Headache!” Since the release of their 2021 EP Internet Breath, founder Caleb Haynes has built the project up with a full-band lineup, making a post-genre play in the creation of their debut LP Psychokinetic Love Songs. Its lead single “Intrusive Thoughts Always” took a hairpin turn into thrash metal, and “Stress Headache!” shows a continued willingness to buck the conventions of emo in service of a more classically rocking chorus.
“We really wanted to embody the whole ’80s glam-rock feel, so we threw in high falsettos and crunchy guitar solos,” says Haynes, who wrote the song in 2019 with drummer Conner Haman. “I was super inspired by The Darkness and Ninja Sex Party, throwback bands like that. It’s the only song that wasn’t written specifically for this album, but I think it’s a nice change of pace from all the chaotic digital progressiveness going on throughout!”
Tapping into lo-fi bedroom pop and Nintendocore, Internet Breath established them as an act to watch. What we’ve heard from Psychokinetic Love Songs so far carries on the chiptune synths and video game aesthetics evoking Anamanaguchi and Porter Robinson with a more polished power-pop sensibility reminiscent of The Cars—like a cumulative shuffle of the iPods on everyone at a Smash Bros. tournament. You can stream “Stress Headache!” below, and look for the full record out April 29 on Lonely Ghost Records.