JPR Live Session: The Ballroom Thieves Live Session (2018)

May 4, 2018

The Ballroom Thieves fought through a year of tribulations with their sophomore album, 2016's Deadeye, as their shield and sword. Only through continuing to write and perform together were guitarist Martin Earley, cellist Calin Peters, and drummer Devin Mauch able to fend off their darker days.

While the skies may not be completely clear, the path ahead is -- and the trio take their first steps forward today. The next phase begins with their new EP, and the single, "Only Lonely," a track that harnesses the Thieves' handsome harmonies and nimble, sturdy acoustic folk. Though disarmingly warm, the lyrics expose the terrible version of oneself that emerges when an unhealthy mental state gains control. "I think anyone who has struggled with depression, anxiety, or profound loneliness can identify with the idea that sadness is at once a passenger and a conductor," says Earley, "and sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference."

Just as the Thieves survive on the strength of their reliance on each other, however, the chorus of howls throughout the song remind the listener that we never battle alone. "Depression can be an isolating maze, but despite the reclusive heaviness of the words in the song we attempt to keep a team mentality when a band mate, partner, or friend is living in the darkness," says Peters. "The band remains and gains strength after the touring years have taken their toll, sometimes howling as one, other times answering the cry of distress, but always relentlessly singing."

That pack mentality pervades all aspects of the new EP. It's what pushed Peters to step into the writer's role more than ever, a challenge she admits she may never have undertaken if not for the buoying of Early and Mauch. "I feel powerful and proud of myself for trying something new, and also sort of protected and encouraged by the guys," she proclaims.