Avalon Stone Finds Life Getting Harder Than It Used To Be

The Ontario up-and-comer dives deep into the darkness on her second single.

Avalon Stone finds there are no easy answers to life in her darkly smouldering new single and lyric video Harder — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

On her striking sophomore release, the Kitchener singer-songwriter evinces a world-weariness that belies her 20 years — and makes it land with a raw, emotional force that explains why she’s a promising addition to the indie-rock scene. The grungy alt-rock ballad — a taste of her upcoming album Chained — takes a deep dive into the struggle against mental confines, intrusive thoughts and innocence lost:

“Getting up in the morning, my mind doesn’t stray from the bed
Fear, it paralyzes and it occupies my head
Because once I’m awake, there’s no excuses left
There’s not much left of me, I am unravelling like a thread
It’s getting harder than it used to be
Days getting longer, all I do is sleep.”

Her lyrics may be lonely, but Stone isn’t here on her own. The rhythm section of drummer Wes Bartram and bassist Donovan McKinley marches inexorably forward in half-time while Caleb Bourgeois’ melancholy guitar chords reverberate through a vintage Echoplex, laying the foundation for her to go in for the kill with this clever, clear-eyed reversal of the “It gets better” trope.

Not every performer has the moxie to pull that off. Stone, though, is no ordinary artist. Lighting up audiences since she was 11, she’s played more than 300 stages in Ontario and the U.S., from bar gigs to festivals drawing audiences of 15,000 and up. Having led her own classic rock band for nearly a decade, she emerged as a solo artist with the arrival of her 2023 single, the polished and defiant Forget You.

The arresting Harder (written with collaborator Joe Jacobs and produced by Juno winner Kevin Dietz) shows us a different side of the artist, perfect for those darker winter months. “It’s a time when many struggle with depression, and I wanted this song to be a companion during those tough moments,” Stone says. “Every one of us has experiences that teach us hard lessons, and a lot of the time we get stronger because of them, but sometimes they really knock you down and you feel like you can’t get up again.

“It’s about being real and not sugarcoating the struggles. Sometimes you’re not OK right away. Sometimes the intrusive thoughts are winning, and you don’t have the energy to fight them. Sometimes you find it in you to break through and carry on. I’m not here to tell my fans how to feel, I’m here to tell them it’s OK they don’t know yet.”

Watch the lyric video for Harder above, check out more from Avalon Stone below, and keep up with her on her website, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.


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