Track by Track: Terrorista – ‘Softpush EP’

terrorista softpush track by track

Softpush EP  Is Out Now.

Alright. Imagine you’re a post-hardcore duo from Toronto. Your debut release is an innovative release of a succession of cassette tape singles which were eventually collected in a compilation. Together they turned into a wonderful mixture of lo-fi aesthetics, playfulness, melody, and a touch of shouting. What to do next? Well, Terrorista decided the only thing to do was head straight back into the studio and record a new EP adding some tenderness and slightly more expansive song structures to their solid foundation.

We sat down with Terrorista vocalist/guitarist Sam Burton (Hargrove?) to discuss the songs that comprise the recently recorded and released Softpush EP. The conversation ran the gamut from Phillip Roth to discoloured phlegm. As always with Terrorista there’s an abundance of humour and humanity.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

This song is about romanticizing the idea of platonic relationships. It got it’s name because, as a pre-teen who hit puberty too early to really understand what sex was, I had quite the crush on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This was initially expressed in thoughts to myself like “I want to high five her, but…. closer….and then go help slay vampires”. Shout-out to Pink Ranger though, the real first crush of most lady-liking folks my age.


This one is about a feeling of hope that feels bigger than your body and longer than you actually feel it for; the kind of hope that changes how you look at your past.

I once read an interview with Philip Roth where he described how he starts new books. Essentially, he writes about 100 pages, then keeps reducing it to smaller sections of his favourite parts. When he gets down to one page of writing, that’s the first page of his new book. I’ve been using a form of that method for lyrics for a while now. I improvise over a song dozens of times, then take my favourite lyrics and use them as jumping off points (“this line sounds kind of verse-like/chorus-like/bridge-like”) and keep picking my favourite lines. The last line of this song “We’ve been kicking around this world, I guess that we’ve been waiting for the right sign, So do not distress, my friend, some things will just take longer than a lifetime” was ALL OVER this song at first, long before the music was finished. At the time it was my favourite line I’d ever written.

Morriseau’s Black

Every project always has a song that keeps changing after you record it. I still change the lyrics to the verses when we play it. I still change little bits of the guitar. I like playing this song a lot, and I really enjoy the small differences in every performance of it. Structurally, this song is different than what we usually gravitate to, but it still feels like one of the more expressive and organic songs we’ve written.

In A Crowd

Blech. Gross. You know when you’re coming down from a bad cold and you’ve been unable to breathe or sleep right for a few days and that clear, wet phlegm starts to turn into that really thick discolored phlegm? It’s gross, but you just want to be better, so you’re incessently trying to get it out by hacking or relentlessly blowing your nose? It’s gross, but it’s a kind of victory. A gross victory. That’s what this song felt like for me. This song is about seeing the manifestation of personal anxiety on a societal level.

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