Sløtface Unpacks the Themes of ‘Fight Back Time’, Her Collaboration with The Buoys

Sløtface & The Buoys | Credit: Jess Gleeson

Sløtface – the project of Norwegian musician Haley Shea – linked up with Sydney/Eora garage pop outfit The Buoys on the recent single ‘Fight Back Time’. The two acts bonded over an appreciation of Maggie Rogers’ 2022 LP, Surrender, and the deft pop songwriting of HAIM, which shines through in the song’s taut rhythms and earworm of a chorus.

Sløtface had already demoed the song with producers Michael Champion and Paul Whalley before making an online friend in The Buoys’ vocalist and guitarist Zoe Catterall. The collaboration developed from there, with Catterall and the rest of The Buoys sharing ideas with Shea over Zoom.

Lyrically, ‘Fight Back Time’ is concerned with self-destructive behaviour and a general aversion to sleep. “Midnights keep coming / I can outrun them / I’ll try to fight back time,” goes the chorus. It’s a tendency that Sløtface and The Buoys would prefer to overcome. And to this end, Shea tells Music Feeds about the merits of taking a breath, celebrating your wins, and getting a good night’s sleep.

Sløtface & The Buoys – ‘Fight Back Time’

Try to make time to celebrate the wins and enjoy the good stuff

Sløtface: I can get so wrapped up in whatever the next thing I’m doing is or rushing onto the next task as soon as I’ve completed something. But these past years I’ve been trying to remember to get excited about the good stuff when it happens, and take the time to celebrate the wins, big and small. Our bass player Marie is a great inspiration here – she can always find something to celebrate.

Just go to bed

Sløtface: A big part of ‘Fight Back Time’ is me reminding myself to do just this. I can absolutely bedtime revenge procrastinate, which usually means staying up late watching endless episodes of whatever I’m hooked on to feel like I can claw back some free time. But I’m almost always better off just going to bed and getting some extra sleep.

The hard thing will feel easier in the morning – you don’t have to deal with everything right now

Sløtface: I can get so overwhelmed thinking of all the things that need to be done or that I’m stressed about that I forget to break things down into smaller tasks. I get easily overwhelmed at the end of a long day. Sometimes it works best for me to just call it, and deal with things with fresh eyes. I’m usually way less stressed and overwhelmed if I can get a good night’s sleep.

Scary hour – where you commit to working on everything you don’t want to do for 60 minutes – has been a game changer for me in terms of breaking big things into smaller chunks.

You’ll know when it’s worth it to stay up

Sløtface: ‘Fight Back Time’ is also about the other side of the coin. Sometimes it’s worth it to stay out too late, have one drink too many, make memories you’ll have forever with your friends and loved ones and eat the unhealthy thing. Everything in moderation is so cliche, but I truly believe it is key. If you pay attention, you’ll know which nights are worth being hung over and tired after, and which nights sleep should be more important.

Ask for help, or ask to vent

Sløtface: Sometimes advice is helpful. My manager, bandmates or partner can be instrumental in helping me solve problems I’m stressing about. But sometimes having people try to solve my problems when I just want to complain a bit pisses me off. So, I’ve started trying to tell people which one I want, and I try to ask the people around me which they prefer: advice or vent. It leads to a lot less confusion and fighting when communicating. Sometimes I even set a timer for five or 10 minutes to vent, and when the timer rings, I try to stop.

It’s OK to do nothing sometimes

Sløtface: I don’t really struggle with doing nothing but sometimes I do still feel bad about it. It’s OK to do nothing sometimes and I try to remind myself of this, especially in stressful periods. Usually, I am more creative, more patient and more well-rested if I make time to do nothing for a day. So, even though it doesn’t feel productive, it is in the long run.

Further Reading

Track By Track: Haley Shea of Sløtface Takes Us Through Her New EP ‘AWAKE/ASLEEP’

Listen to ‘I Want You’, The Buoys’ New Song “For Anyone That’s Been in a Situationship”

Amyl and the Sniffers: “We Might Never Play Again Until We’re at the John Farnham Point”

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