Brooklyn via Detroit songwriter Anya Baghina captures the feeling of melting melancholy with fellow Soviet Girls bandmate Jonathan Franco in “Almost Alone.” As the ice drips off the branches and the sun peeks out of the grey Michigan sky, the two friends narrate the passing of time, the weight of seasonal sadness and the comfort of solitude. Written almost by accident during a late night hang-turned-jam-session, the song feels like an uber-relatable, melodic diary entry, written by your best friend.
It’s easy to want to make every line into a metaphor in this song. Take the opening line – “it looks like springtime, but it feels like winter.” Baghina says it started out as the literally, explaining, “We wrote it around this time last year, when the darkness of winter was concluding and hints of spring brought about hope.” But Baghina’s vocal inflection and Franco’s subtle backup also leaves room for interpretation; when they sing “And you’ve got more stories to tell…” it feels as though the whole song is a metaphor for a person or situation that didn’t turn out the way it had seemed.
Even as the season change brings glimmers of rebirth, there’s a sadness attached to the shadow of winter and the doldrums of prolonged cabin fever. It’s the same kind of listless ennui that often accompanies the end of casual fling as it fizzles out. “I can’t regret this yet, because it’s not really over,” the duo sings, describing an anxiety that can feel paralyzing when you’re suspended in a grey area.
The song ends by repeating a phrase that could be comforting or unsettling, depending on how you look at it. “The lyrics ‘I’m almost alone’ follow the small narrative of the song as if someone leaving is followed by a sense of relief,” says Baghina. “But the last phrase ‘almost alone’ captures the bigger picture and refers to that dissociative state of being you can feel even if you’re surrounded by friends.”
Listen to the full track below.