At first blush, “IW2BWU4EVR”–the latest single from Fantasy Non Fiction’s upcoming debut album–sounds like something from the end credits of a 2000s teen romcom. The New Orleans indie rock four-piece comes on strong with euphoric harmonies and sing-song guitars that paint the picture of romantic bliss, but as drummer and vocalist Rose Cangelosi will tell you, the song’s origins are a bit more complicated.
“‘IW2BWU4EVR’ was one of the first songs I wrote on guitar about six years ago–about a person I certainly was not sure I wanted to be with. If you listen to the verses, you’ll see what I mean,” she says. “Originally, it was slow and sappy, with a ’round-the-campfire acoustic vibe. I meant it when I wrote it, but I sing it ironically now.”
From that first iteration, Cangelosi wouldn’t have expected it to wind up on the album. She says it could well have ended up relegated to her solo shows, but some adjustments by guitarist Molly Reeves helped it evolve into the overdriven, full-band joyride it is now.
“She heard me play the original version and noticed the chords sounded like they could be for a punk song. We rehearsed it with the new feel and added a slow middle section like the original, and it still didn’t feel right after playing it at a couple shows, so Molly suggested we try singing the overlapping verse and chorus together. After that, people loved it, and it felt complete. Molly made me like this song again, even though it sometimes reminds me of the person I wrote it about.”
When Fantasy Non Fiction set out to record their self-titled debut, they picked the most complete songs from their live set–there wasn’t a unifying concept in mind. As “IW2BWU4EVR” shows, though, there are naturally-occuring themes that tie Cangelosi’s lyrics together.
“This track is a good example of the self-reflective shrug my songwriting can lend itself to, and connects to the other tunes on the album that share the same sentiment,” she says. “I process my life mostly with poems and lyrics. Each one is a memoir of who I was or what I was dealing with at the time.”
In the case of “IW2BWU4EVR,” it’s a memoir that now serves as a sardonic reminder of how fleeting, yet all-consuming, a feeling can be.
“I find it funny that humans can feel so strongly–you know, ‘I want to be with you forever’–and then rapidly change our minds to ‘I never want to see you again.’ I usually explain to the audience that the song is a lie when we play it live.”
When taken with their previous single “Pressure” and its darker, dancier feel, “IW2BWU4EVR” hints at the wide range of sonic tools in Fantasy Non Fiction’s kit. Their full album releases on May 8, 2020 and 40% of sales will support those impacted by COVID-19 in the New Orleans area.