Rising indie pop stars The Band CAMINO and Chelsea Cutler reflect on a damaged, toxic relationship on "Crying Over You."

Being in the wrong relationship can feel worse than not being in any relationship at all. Being misunderstood or mistreated by someone who's supposed to love us is its own special kind of hell. It's like exposing our tender underbelly and handing someone a knife, saying "I trust you," only to have them sink the dagger in, up to its hilt. It's a special kind of pain, betrayal with a dash of cynicism and a healthy dose of self-hatred.

And yet, even though they're terrible for us, it's still hard to walk away from a relationship. Whether it's the sunk cost fallacy of already having invested so much and being willing to do anything to make it work or just sheer bull-headed pride, not wanting to admit that we were wrong, that we made a mistake. Or it could simply be fear of the unknown, being afraid to strike out on one's own. Maybe we won't find someone new? Maybe we're unlovable?

Still, fortune favors the bold. We need to be true to ourselves and our hearts, no matter what. This boldness, and all of the emotions that come with up, are captured eloquently and succinctly on "Crying Over You," the newest collaboration between rising indie pop stars Chelsea Cutler and The Band Camino.



"Crying Over You" is actually a clever play on words, "I choose crying over you." This sleight of hand is a good representation of what makes this collaboration so successful. They make something old and familiar seem bold and new. A heartbroken, heartfelt ballad is nothing new, yet The Band Camino and Chelsea Cutler inject new life into the form, a mainline shot of angst, regret, hope, optimism. The heart radiates forth from "Crying Over You," largely in the back-and-forth vocals, which are truly chill-inducing. It's enough to resurrect your faith in the heartfelt ballad.

Pop music, whether indie or mainstream, is about injecting something new, unique, and personal into an established form, inhabiting the song and making it your own. If Chelsea Cutler and The Band CAMINO were to take "Crying Over You" to a pop idol competition, they would destroy.

Now here's to hoping they have the same effect on the pop scene. They deserve it. We Are: The Guard would love to see more heartfelt, personal indie pop music.

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J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.