Comfort Club talks emotional honesty on "If You're Not Next to Me"

Comfort Club is done holding back. The Los Angeles based indie pop artist recently released his new single, “If You’re Not Next to Me,” which boldly confronts his fear of abandonment by using subtle humor to explore the fallout of a relationship. Sounds of Saving sat down with Comfort Club to talk about musical inspirations, diving into your most vulnerable self, and his upcoming album. 

March 18, 2024

Interview by Kelly Schwint

Photo Courtesy of Comfort Club

Sounds of Saving: Can you tell us a little bit about your new single, “If You’re Not Next To Me”? 

Comfort Club: It is a song that I wrote when I was going through a breakup. I was being as dramatic as possible in this situation saying, “I genuinely don’t know what my life would be like without this person.” I was experiencing that feeling for the first time. I had never felt so attached to someone before in my life. It has a lot of literal lyrics, but then I tried to tie in this line: “Said you’d be there for me / Can’t be alone in this economy.” I thought that was fun to drop in a song, too. 

SOS: What was your approach to writing the song? 

CC: I was just trying to be really honest with myself about how I was feeling and let myself go into that deeper, more emotional inner being. I did that for the chorus and wrote that. For the verses, there wasn’t really anything there, so I teamed up with my friend Adam Casanova. We came up with this melody that we really liked and wrote some words that were very self-deprecating, which I was super into. I went home and rewrote some of the lyrics, but I kept a lot that we worked on together. I felt like I had to change some stuff so it wasn’t so self-deprecating.

SOS: Did you find that process therapeutic at all?

CC: The whole process of writing this album has been very therapeutic since I was writing it while going through a breakup. It was almost like journaling. I was able to get those feelings out of my head and heart and into existence. It felt really nice to give myself the ability to pick up a guitar and say how I was feeling. That was my safe space when I was going through that emotional turmoil.

“It felt really nice to give myself the ability to pick up a guitar and say how I was feeling. That was my safe space when I was going through that emotional turmoil.”

When is your earliest memory of making music?

CC: I started playing guitar for real when I was 17, and then I started making songs when I was 21 or 22. 

SOS: Was there a moment when you realized music was something you knew you wanted to pursue professionally?

CC: I never knew I wanted to pursue it professionally until later down the road when I went to a John Mayer concert in 2013 with my then girlfriend. It was life-changing for me. I saw someone doing something on stage that captivated me. I knew it was something I wanted to do at some point in my life. I had always wanted to be a performer in some capacity. I’m not sure why––it isn’t super in line with my personality––but expressing myself and feeling seen was always something I craved. When I saw a musician do it, it put together all my deep-seated needs and combined that with something that feels really good and connects with other people. 

SOS: How has your songwriting process developed over time?

CC: I’ve allowed myself to be more honest. In the past, I was writing more stories per se, and then I went through a breakup. I realized I had a lot of feelings about this one experience, and I started writing from a place of experience instead of a narrative. It developed in a way that I started writing how I was feeling very specifically and very direct, rather than using an analogy. 

SOS: Can you tell us anything about your new album?

CC: I’ve released three of the songs already, and I have two more coming out tonight. I have a couple more coming out before the album drops, but it is very much surrounding the breakup that I went through. There are a lot of different emotions explored throughout it. It is definitely the best writing that I’ve ever done. It all feels very cohesive to me, so putting out one or two songs at a time is getting people into the world of this album. When the whole thing comes out, I hope that it is the perfect album for people who are going through a breakup and have never felt that way before. 

SOS: We typically ask people—is there a song that found you when you needed it the most?

CC: It’s basically John Mayer’s whole catalog for me. There are so many songs that I listened to when I was 16, 17, or 18 when I was emotionally struggling. I would get into the lyrics and take them to heart. I remember tweeting the lyrics of “Gravity” by John Mayer when I was emotional. 

SOS: Lastly, what can your audience expect from your new era of music?

CC: They can expect me to grow and try to play live more. I put a lot of time and effort into this album and discovering this new sound that I’ve decided to take. Now that I’m able to take it to a live setting, I’m able to explore the songs with the emotions that come out when I’m playing live. It is really special, and I feel amazing on stage—there is so much emotion pouring out of my heart when I’m playing these songs. Anyone who is into emotional music and into their feelings should come to a concert. 

Comfort Club’s headlining US tour kicked off in San Diego March 7 and wraps up in New York May 19. See all dates here