When most think of All Time Low guitarist Jack Barakat, he’s often associated with being the goofy comic relief member of the band. However, his new side-project WhoHurtYou shows a whole new side to him and what he has to offer.
Teaming up with songwriter and friend Kevin Fisher (aka Sweet Talker), the pair formed the project after both going through bad break-ups and seeking therapy. In turn, the two have come out of the other end with much to discuss and create, starting with their ‘Stages’ EP to not only broadcast this vulnerable side of their lives, but also to highlight the stigma that’s often attached to anyone going through therapy.
As the title suggests, the five songs depict the stages of a break-up, ranging from complete heartbreak, bitterness, and a somewhat level of acceptance which makes this whole EP completely relatable to all from start-to-finish.
Opener, ‘Not The One’, introduces this brand of self-described ‘dark pop’ perfectly. It’s extremely catchy, showcasing Fisher‘s talents, whilst simultaneously pulling on the heart strings with lyrics such as “I still wonder if you think of me too / When you’re laying next to somebody new”.
One of the nice things about the EP is its complete step away from anything that you’d normally associate Barakat with, almost to the point that you could easily mistake it for another artist. It’s extremely poppy; not a single track would seem out of place in the charts, and you can tell at various points that Fisher writes for big league pop-rock bands like 5 Seconds Of Summer.
‘Wish We Never Met’ and ‘Can We Still Be Friends?’ both hold their own as the standout tracks on offer here. The former is the essential song for anyone who’s going through the angry phase of a break-up, whilst the latter falls at the end of the record and makes for an infectious closer that you’ll find yourself singing long after the EP has finished.
It’ll be interesting to see if and where they take their music from here. Even the name WhoHurtYou suggests the general theme of what they’re about, so if a short and sweet release is all this project is destined to be then it’s a perfect pop-rock record for anyone who has to deal with a broken heart. Still, time will tell if there’s still more to come from this duo.