Come Clean – “134” Track-By-Track

Come Clean

Today I’m thrilled to share with everyone an exclusive track-by-track by North Carolina pop-punk band, Come Clean, for their latest record called 134. Come Clean is Rob Hendley (Guitar/Vocals) Zac Gardner (Bass/Vocals) Owen Smith (Guitar) and Dallas Hunt (Drums). With songs grounded in everyday struggles such as love, loss and mental health, the Greensboro outfit bring their debut LP to life with a high-octane medley of punchy guitars and soaring vocals. Incorporating splashes of post-hardcore influence, former Standby Records crew Come Clean marry upbeat and pacey with contemplative subject matter, taking the listener on a thought-provoking and unwavering fun journey as they go. You can stream 134 here.

”SLOW ON THE EXHALE”: (Rob) This song is about cutting ties with a close friend over hard drug use and understanding they are not who they used to be anymore. No matter how many times you offer an alternative or an out, if the drugs are what’s important to them, they will put the drugs first. “Slow on the Exhale” is both a sigh of disappointment and relief.

”FORTUNATE”: (Rob) I wrote “Fortunate” at the end of 2016 through the start of 2017 when we first started out, right after we recorded Won’t Wait. At the time we were practicing in a storage unit we had decorated with banners and fun stuff, a TV with a Nintendo 64, and even a microwave and fridge. I was staying up late or all night working on new music and ways to work our way into the local music scene and the DIY touring scene. We went on our first tour in the spring of 2017. Being in this band has helped show me I that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to and I wrote this song as a reminder and in appreciation of those times back when we started out.

”134″: (Rob) This is the first song I ever wrote to someone and I did so as a gift, a reminder, and a show of love. Six months into the relationship with my current girlfriend of 6 years, whom I am very much in love with, I wrote this song sprinkled with shared memories and statements of forever that I still feel to this day. We live together now but I used to drive an hour and a half to Charlotte once a week and then back to spend time with her, and I still would. She always sees the numbers 1, 3, and 4 in some combination or another and pointing it out has sort of become an “I love you” between us.

”ART CLASS”: (Rob) I wrote the verses to this song during the recording process of our last EP, From Down the Street. I was sick, sleeping on the hardwood floor at the studio, and missing my girlfriend. I had written the chorus prior to that for my girlfriend as a reminder that I wont leave her and she makes my life better.

”AND THE WALLS BECAME THE WORLD ALL AROUND”: (Rob) This song is about being away from someone you love, missing them, and looking forward to the next time you’ll be together again. My girlfriend was back and forth between home and Orlando for work when I wrote this song. She was teaching for an online program at the time and one of the books she was doing was Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, so I re-worked some of the ending lines of that book into the end of my song.

”OUTERSPACE”: (Zac) “Outerspace” is about having confidence in yourself, but always failing. Sometimes we know we can be better, but we blame our pitfalls on others or circumstance. All these bottles up feelings can sometimes make you think you were the problem all along, and the only thing you know to do is run away and try to start again.

”BEAUTIFUL BLUE”: (Rob) We’ve never done an acoustic song before and we wanted to show some more variety and depth on this album. I wrote this song for my girlfriend as a statement of love and a confidence booster. When its right it just feels right and I’m lucky to be able to write songs like this one.

”LOSING VALUE”: (Rob) When I wrote most of these Come Clean songs, in the past, I was usually trying to write something that was uplifting, or wraps around to something uplifting, or ends on a positive note. The bulk of the past material has been love based and “Losing Value” was an attempt to push myself lyrically in a different direction. The song questions myself and my standing in the world or if I can have a broader overall impact on it. People will always look down on what you’re doing or speak negatively about your dreams. Brush it off but don’t forget it. Take note of who’s really got your back.

”SO FOOLISH”: (Zac) “So Foolish” is about the struggle of overcoming our own negative thoughts.  Failure can stick with you and make you forever wonder how you could have done things differently.  We tend to hide these feelings away hoping that someone or something will help us figure it out, but in the end it always falls back on ourselves to try to be better.

”OVERWORKING”: (Rob) “Overworking” is a song about feeling like you’re spending valuable time working a job you don’t care about to fund your own works that you do care about. It’s about longing to be back on the road with friends, playing music and recounting those times because they are what really make you feel alive.