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Premiere: WHSTLE Embrace Tension in Heated, Hypnotic “Hurt Somebody”

Pulsing with friction and bluesy trip-hop heat, WHSTLE’s “Hurt Somebody” casts off all pretense with searing lyrics and an ambient, hypnotizing beat.

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Arizona’s WHSTLE whip out a vicious tongue in their heavy new single: Pulsing with friction and bluesy trip-hop heat, “Hurt Somebody” casts off all pretense with searing lyrics and an ambient, hypnotizing beat.

I’m burning up a fever
And it won’t break
It just seeps in deeper
Every step I take
I’m in a cold sweat comatose
And there’s these quakes
That rock the foundation of my bones
Listen: “Hurt Somebody” – WHSTLE

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Hurt Somebody,” the lead single off WHSTLE’s upcoming EP, Quakes. The Phoenix, Arizona trio comprised of lead singer Saydi Driggers, guitarist William Butler, and drummer Jake Briggs, WHSTLE have slowly emerged as a potent alternative force over the past few years. Their self-produced debut EP established their formidable electro-pop sound in late 2017. Less than a year later, WHSTLE are already showing signs of evolution with “Hurt Somebody,” whose enthralling soundscape begs us to probe further into the band’s lyrical darkness.

I know you think I lost control
But it’s you who has no grip to
Hold on when you call me sick
Did you check your throat
You’re gonna hurt somebody
Hurt somebody
I know you think that I’m too young
To have problems you haven’t heard of
Baby watch the way you roll your tongue
You’re gonna hurt somebody
Hurt somebody you love

“I wrote this song in a severe state of anxiety while people around me insisted I was fine,” Saydi Driggers tells Atwood Magazine. “Honestly, I was pissed. My anger drove us to create ‘Hurt Somebody’ with sarcastic aggression. (rolls eyes)”

Sarcastic though it may seem in retrospect, “Hurt Somebody” comes off with an air of confidence and swagger that simply cannot be faked. It is at its core a musical manifestation of built-up tension. In releasing that emotion through song, WHSTLE have offered to all a vessel through which tenuous feelings of all kinds may be channelled. Anger, ire, annoyance and beyond may dwell and perhaps find some release in “Hurt Somebody” – after all, some emotions are best decompressed through art, rather than through action.

You’re gonna hurt somebody you love,” WHSTLE emphasize again and again in the chorus. William Butler’s echoing guitar licks play off Saydi Driggers’ soft, smooth tones to create an enticing balance of darkness and light. Intense though it may be, “Hurt Somebody” ultimately leaves listeners with a feeling of refreshed relief; it’s as if WHSTLE’s jaunt through turmoil is the cathartic listening experience we need to loosen up our own muscles.

And I loved you til the day you gave me up
A girl like me was never what you wanted
Oh I loved you til the day you gave me up
A girl like me

WHSTLE are on the rise, diving into emotion and complex musicalities on their newest single to show they are in it for the long haul. Stream “Hurt Somebody” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for more from the Phoenix trio as they tease out their sophomore EP Quakes!

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Article by Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing.