Stifled by OLLIE TWOHILL is a beautiful piece that tackles the complex subject of mental issues. Returning readers will know how I feel about tracks like this, but I think it is always important to state how crucial songs about trauma and growing from it are. These tracks are cathartic for the writer to create and also help others going through similar issues. Songs like this are a positive transfer of knowledge and life experience. It is beautiful to see music be a part of something mutually beneficial for the creator and audience.
The song has an indie rock flavour, built up by these beautiful layers of guitars. They have this charismatic shine, producing a bright timbre that feels musically exciting without taking away from the heavy thematic depth of the composition. The drumming is another aspect of the track that aids in providing that energy. It does a great job of building an ebb and flow. In the chorus, the drums swell, adding depth and rhythm but also a high register hiss created by the hi-hat. The guitar break is another strong point. It explores the song's melody thoroughly and adds to its emotional depth. I think the break gives time for the listener to process the lyrics they have heard. It also matches the tone of the themes through an achingly melancholic performance.
The vocals convey this excellent mix of confidence and vulnerability required. The energy of the choruses displays that bold vigor. However, verses give the vocal performance a chance to show a more sensitive side of his style. The motif of running in place felt evocative of the struggle of dealing with mental health issues alone. It always feels like one step forward, two steps backward.
I love the honesty and rawness of Stifled. Any time we see such emotional purity, it feels impressive and stark. This tone, with an emotionally cohesive instrumental, brings the piece together into something special.