"Most people would listen to my songs and assume it’s about boy meets girl, boy breaks girl’s heart, girl cries. But these songs are actually about my family and the crippling confusion and heartbreak addiction causes."
Under the moniker APHRA (pronounced AF-RA), Philadelphia’s Rebecca Waychunas has meticulously crafted a left-of-pop persona that infuses experiences of personal struggle with both the grit of the DIY/ punk scene and the layered instrumentation of her electronica contemporaries - recalling the likes of a Coexist era The xx mixed with Mitski. Sadness is a Gesture (due 2/28) took over two years to write, record, and produce. In both the songs’ evolution and physical manifestation, they trace a journey working through confusion by way of repeated mental and emotional breakdowns to immense personal growth and clarity.
Waychunas started writing songs in high school as a way to make sense of the instability around her. Her openness about the traumatizing effect that drug and alcohol addiction has had on familial and personal relationships serves as the foundation for the sonically diverse tracks. "All of these songs were actually written with a particular person or relationship in mind in which addiction played a huge part,” Waychunas explains. “I don’t personally struggle with any substance issues, but I have realized that I am quite drawn to people who suffer from them. I’ve learned who I am, and who I am in relation to the people closest to me, most intimately through the process of recording this project."
She considers herself lucky to live in a city that offers such a supportive underground music scene. Philadelphia has allowed Waychunas to grow as both a songwriter and performer, and collaborate with artists across several different mediums. Her immersion in these communities has helped hone her proficiency in video production and dance choreography. The release of Sadness is a Gesture serves as both a reflection and expression of APHRA’s deeply personal and creative pursuits.