DECEMBER 1, 2020
Written By Shanya Olivares
POLLYANA RELEASE THEIR UPBEAT AND 'OPTIMISTIC' EP "SUGAR COAT"
Pollyanna is a New Jersey based indie-rock band that consists of Jill Beckett, Dan McCool, and Brandon Bolton. Although they started out in 2013, under a different name, it wasn’t until 2017 that they settled on Pollyanna, which means “unreasonably or illogically happy.” As a band, they have not only created a name for themselves, but they have also managed to live up to their name by creating upbeat and ‘optimistic’ music. They have opened for many Punkaganda favorite bands and definitely have left a mark on the music industry.
Today, Pollyanna released their EP “Sugar Coat”, which opens up with their song “Don’t Stay, Don’t Go,” and to be honest, when I first clicked play on the EP, the first 30 seconds alone were enough for me to freak about how good it was as a whole.
Let’s talk about their songs, “Don’t Stay, Don’t Go” was originally released as a single back in October, along with a music video -- which I’ve watched multiple times, because it’s just THAT good. This song is a a newfound anthem of the indie-rock fan, truly showing the essence of their band, talking about emotions of feeling empty and wanting someone to stay, while maintaining their upbeat melody. This song is followed by another previously released single, “I Promise, I’m Lying” is another incredible upbeat song with an equally incredible music video about going crazy over missing someone, but denying it.
The third song, which has been identified as Beckett’s favorite, is “IDKY” which features Ophelia Booth, and it begins with a change of melody, being more on the mellow side, than the usual upbeat indie melody we hear before. This change, however, doesn’t make it bad, on the contrary, it adds to the essence of the EP. This song, which is about a ‘catastrophe’ of a girl, is of three new Pollyanna releases. The song following this one is “Good For You”, which is a previously released single, from back in February, which also has a music video. This song is no different from the usual upbeat melodies Pollyanna has released, but this, in my opinion, shows a whole new different side of Beckett’s vocals, and it’s truly impressing. The song is about being understanding in a relationship and knowing when the person isn’t it for you.
The last 2 songs on this EP are new releases, the first of the two unreleased songs is “Grown Apart.” This song is a lot more mellow, but Pollyanna manages to take a mellow melody and not make it sad, which is undeniably how they live up to the name. The song’s contents is defined in the title of the song, it’s about people changing and growing apart, but it also talks about feeling like you’re missing out on that person. The lyrics tell the story of a person watching as their friend, who they grew apart from is living without them, or is leaving them in a sense, and how they grew apart.
The other unreleased song is one titled “Never Know,” this one might be the most emotional song in the EP. The song’s background is more acoustic than their usual rock instrumental, which is the beginning of the more mellow song. This song, although it can be interpreted in many ways, could be seen as an anthem for those missed relationships, the “almost” relationships, the ones you wished loved you. In this song, Pollyanna sings about never knowing what it’s like to be loved by this one person and wishing things could go back, so you interpret this the way you wish to.
Finally, I got the chance to ask them, on their Instagram story, how they would describe the EP in 3 words to which they replied “Dan. Jill. Brandon,” or “Fun. Assertive. Emotional,” what three words define this EP? You decide. All we really know is that this EP is truly Pollyanna at it’s prime, make sure to give it a listen, you won’t regret it. Pollyanna has become a new Punkaganda favorite, and we can't wait to catch them live when gigs make a much needed return.