“Alone Again” is violinist and composer Sarah Goldfeather’s immersive ode to rejection. It’s a dramatic, indie rock response to the open wounds of lost love. A heartbreaking relatability seeps through every synth-laden lyric, following influence from artists like Sufjan Stevens and Mitski. Its accompanying video amplifies the sonic intensity, using visual layering to mimic the echoing loneliness of the music itself.
Released on Brooklyn-based, experimental music-focused label slashsound records, “Alone Again” is the opening track off of indie-folk group Goldfeather’s 2019 album, Water Damaged Valentines. It’s also recently been turned into the Alone Again EP, featuring the original song alongside a remix and live recording. Here, the goal is to highlight one song in order to explore the new ways listeners are consuming music outside of the traditional album. You can watch the music video, recorded at Shiny Things Studio, and learn more about the piece below.
At the time of writing “Alone Again,” Goldfeather, Sarah’s band, was transitioning from a folk group into an indie rock ensemble. “I wanted to start a new musical leaf,” Sarah explained. She had just ended a significant relationship – going through “all the classic things,” like cutting her hair – and decided that she wanted to begin learning and incorporating technology into her musical creations, expanding her body of musical knowledge to include harmonic instruments and technology as well as the violin.
In embarking on this new musical journey, what she describes as a “collaborative spirit” became a core part of the band’s creative process. With percussionist and synth player Robbie Bowen, Sarah began to learn Ableton Live, a music production software system. Together, they created “Alone Again,” and even once performed an “unrecognizably” electronic Dolly Parton cover. Guitarist Ethan Woods and guitarist and producer Mike Tierney, a collaborator from their days together at NYU, also joined the band.
Sonically, “Alone Again” is meant to be a vivid illustration of the feeling of isolation and self pity, painting the lyrics through music. For Sarah, the song’s middle section represents the core of what she wants to express: its pastiche, drama, and unexpected moments, like a suddenly bursting electric guitar, create, to her, a “sonic version of despair.” She’s interested in illuminating shifting perspectives through music with surprise twists, turns, and key changes, finding inspiration from the active nature of musical theater.
Although “Alone Again” was written in January 2016, its messages are still relatable today. Sarah describes her music of this time as an “obscured diary entry,” time-oriented and self-oriented. But the song’s themes of self pity, rejection, and loss ring clear and reflective through the vibrant music. “Alone Again” lets us indulge in those overdramatic, angst-filled emotions, finding within the music a sincere catharsis.