After making a name for themselves with their dusty-yet-glowing self-titled debut in 2017, Chapel Hill duo Blue Cactus are announcing their return today with their second LP called Stranger Again. Set to be released May via Sleepy Cat Records, the album continues the pair’s mission to blend classic country sounds with vintage ’70s pop sensibilities and a sobering sense of honesty, as heard on the record’s first single, “Come Clean.”
“Sometimes we are the last person to tell ourselves the truth,” vocalist Stephanie Stewart shares of the track’s lyrical origins. “We ignore our gut, suppress our instincts, and go through the motions of a life that other people have defined for us. We become the person everyone else wants us to be and lose ourselves along the way. ‘Come Clean’ is about radical self-love and acknowledging the struggle in that journey; that hard, unflinching look in the mirror.
“In 2017,” she continues, “I was in the process of separating from my then husband. I wrote most of this song during that time. It wasn’t until a year later after the divorce was finalized that I was able to find the words that had been missing from this song. I was carrying a lot of shame and guilt, and once I finally let that go, I was free to rediscover who I was as a person outside of that relationship. I was finally free to love me.”
The track’s video echoes these themes of rebirth and relearning, with the band members blindfolded and slowly making contact with the outside world. Watch it below.