Listen to three songs from Aphra's debut LP Sadness Is A Gesture - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
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Philadelphia’s Rebecca Way writes songs about heartbreak in her electropop project Aphra — but not that kind of heartbreak.

“Most people would listen to my songs and assume it’s about boy meets girl, boy breaks girl’s heart, girl cries,” she writes on her Bandcamp page of Aphra’s long-awaited new record Sadness Is A Gesture. “But these songs are actually about my family and the crippling confusion and heartbreak addiction causes.”

This is a pain that runs deeper and isn’t as easily cured; this is a pain that all the cheery well wishes in the world don’t do a thing to soothe; this is cutting, existential and scary, and these are the feelings Aphra is turning into compelling art.

We’ve been following Way since her time in the indie ensemble Tutlie and watched her transformation into a captivating R&B / pop persona; ever since premiering her “Geronimo” video a year ago, we’ve been itchy to hear more of her work-in-progress. When she recorded a Key Studio Session back in the fall, we were graciously treated to three songs from the record, and today we’ve got the final studio version of one of them — along with a bevy of album details.

The songs have been in process since Way, now 27, was a teenager — per her Bandcamp, she “started writing songs in high school as a way to make sense of the instability around her” and the highly personal unburdenings mix with subtle beats and haunting production in the vein of Banks, Lorde and more.

Below, listen to the sublime sorrow of “Honey,” along with its predecessor singles “Rooms” and “Geronimo.”

Sadness is a Gesture is out on February 28th, and digital and vinyl preorders are available here. Revisit Aphra’s Key Studio Session in the live video of “Honey” below, and listen to the entire set here. For more on the project, read The Key’s profile feature story from last year, written by David Murrell.

Aphra celebrates the release of Sadness is a Gesture on Wednesday, March 8th at The Barbary; tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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