Last year, on top of the already-chaotic world, Asheville, N.C.-based rock group Bad Molly had to endure the heartbreaking loss of their friend and frontman Pete Elwell. While in Florida during the pandemic, Elwell was working on shrimping boats and, like too many in the world of music, he overdosed. The news rattled the hearts of all those close to him, especially his bandmates.
Bad Molly had recently recorded brand new music with Elwell before COVID-19 shut everything down—so they decided the best way to celebrate Elwell’s life was to release his music to the world. Off the brand new split seven-inch with fellow N.C.-natives Ouroboros Boys, Bad Molly shares “F/V Big Valley.” All profits that the seven-inch makes will be donated to Musicians for Overdose Prevention.
“F/V Big Valley” is an emotional track about a fishing vessel that sunk in Alaska. Their friend and musical collaborator Aaron Kuss was supposed to be there, but accidentally (and thankfully) missed the boat.
“The song is dark, brooding, haunting, and tragic. We played this unreleased song at Pete’s outdoor memorial service in Asheville—partly because it seemed so fitting and it was raining,” Bad Molly bandmate Lynn Fister says in a release. “We are now motivated more than ever to get his music out into the world and the music he recorded with us during quarantine to honor him.”
Fister also created the stop-motion animation video for “F/V Big Valley” below. Though the track will have tears welling up in your eyes, there’s a clear and poetic liveliness captured within the melody. In the end, even though the lyrics suggest otherwise, you feel as if hope has prevailed over dread.