Review: The Unapologetic Kind’s “Delicate State”

by Car Car Binks // The Feminine Musique

If you asked someone how this past year has made them feel, it’s not likely that you would get a vast array of answers. Responses would likely be limited to synonyms of sad, depressed, sorrowful, unhappy, melancholic. And while some of us may be no good at putting these feelings into words, The Unapologetic Kind is a little too good at capturing them in sound.

An emo alternative rock band from the Carolinas, The Unapologetic Kind makes the kind of music that your sixteen-year-old self would have too happily screamed into a pillow. Fronted by the formidable force that is Marley Shaver, the band released their debut LP titled No Hard Feelings in January of this year. Eleven months and a pandemic later, The Unapologetic Kind has released Delicate State, a four-track acoustic EP featuring reimaginings of three previously released songs and a brand new collaboration with Columbia’s own Cayla Fralick.

 In a lot of ways, Delicate State feels like a familiar friend. With its reimaginings of “Flesh and Bone,” “Vendetta,” and “Sabotage,” and strings backing every track, the band provides a more mellowed and somber take on their typical sound. The acoustics are deep and raw yet polished, and each reimagined track feels more vulnerable than its previous incarnation. And while each acoustic reimagining is more than worthy of praise, it’s “Pity Party” that stands out among the rest. 

 Featuring Cayla Fralick, “Pity Party” is the only new song on the EP. The track takes the form of what sounds like a letter to a former love that was never sent. The softer syrup of Fralick’s vocals perfectly complements Shaver’s rougher edge while the duo implore understanding, sympathy, and – of course – pity from the object of their affection. Simple rhymes and resonant acoustics invoke feelings of desperation as the duo sing “you broke me down / you took away my crown / you hurt me bad / I am so sad / so sad.” But despite the tone of despair and regret, “Pity Party” almost feels introspective – like its writer may be finally coming to terms with the past. And in 2020, we’ve learned to take the small wins where we can.

If No Hard Feelings opens old wounds, Delicate State cleans and cauterizes them. The four-track EP is more likely to make you silently sob into your pillow rather than scream into it, and while the release doesn’t provide a lot of new, we take comfort with the old in its three acoustic reimaginings. By stripping down to just acoustics, The Unapologetic Kind adds a whole new layer of pensiveness and vulnerability to an already melancholic sound. Topped off with Cayla Fralick’s feature on “Pity Party,” Delicate State brings us full circle from January’s release and serves as thoughtful punctuation to the end of a rotten year.

Delicate State is streaming now on Spotify, and you can hear more from The Unapologetic Kind on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Follow Car Car Binks on Twitter, and be sure to tune in when The Feminine Musique returns in Spring 2021 on your favorite college radio station, WUSC.

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