A minor quirk of the music scene in NYC (and likely elsewhere too) is that everyone plays in everyone else’s band. Like Brooklyn musician Rachel Brown, who’s one-half of the rising duo Water From Your Eyes, but also nourishes their own solo outfit called thanks for coming. At the end of this month, Brown will be releasing their latest solo EP called What Is My Capacity For Love. Today, they’re back with the second single from the album, “Unlimited Love,” a careening guitar track about losing love but finding more openness in the world, built around their loose, stream-of-consciousness songwriting.
Brown wrote “Unlimited Love” after coming back home from their first ever tour through Europe in mid 2022. They had gone with their other band, Water From Your Eyes, and it was Brown’s first time ever leaving the country. The sudden impact of new experiences, people, and places — combined with fresh new road bumps in a relationship — made Brown feel a strange degree of freedom and untetheredness.
“It was really nice to be able to be in a moment and really be in it, and not have any memories of it or understanding of what people were even saying around me,” Brown tells NYLON. “It was so easy to be grateful at every moment because I had never had the chance to see the world like that. Everything is so awe inspiring and typical at the same time, it’s nice to know that life is life everywhere you go. I felt a really universal sense of love, while at the same time feeling really heartbroken about such a small relationship in my life.”
That universal sense of love sparked “Unlimited Love,” a song that ends with Brown chanting, “This life is infinite/ I have never known a peace like this.” Per Brown, it’s one of the few positive-feeling songs they’ve written — “I felt hopeful about love, not that relationship, but love as a concept, as a way to live, as a way to connect myself to everything and everyone everywhere,” they add — and the relief and gratitude in their voice is palpable when they sing, even if it doesn’t last two minutes.
As a way to complete the story, Brown’s music video for the song features self-shot footage from that tour through Europe, with shots of them grinning while driving, grabbing luggage from the airport carousel, peering out the plane window, watching long grass ripple in the wind: a celebration of life wherever you find it.
Watch “Unlimited Love” below, and read on for a conversation with Brown about the upcoming EP, dying plants, and listening to CDs in their car. Be sure to catch What Is My Capacity For Love, out Sept. 29.
What are you up to right now — describe your surroundings.
I am in my bedroom in Bed Stuy and it’s just past 2 a.m. and I should be sleeping. I just cleaned up today so everything is looking a lot better than it has since I got home a week or two ago when it was all piles sprawling across my floor. I am typing in my bed which is covered in a pink floral comforter that used to belong to my grandma. I have a big fiddle leaf fig plant by my window and a smaller rubber tree plant next to it—at least I think that’s what it’s called. I also have a spider plant that’s dying over by my desk. It’s sad to see something that was once so lively all keeled over like that. Makes you wonder what went wrong? How did I fail to do my part of keeping it alive and well?
Anyways, everything is just sitting in a semi-permanent place that has become its home and I barely even notice any of it anymore because these are just the things that exist here all of the time. Although, I guess it’s actually really nice to have my belongings and to have my room where those things belong. I miss it a lot when I’m on the road. It’s really the only place in the whole world that's kind of just for me.
Your EP is called What's My Capacity To Love? What did you learn about yourself and love while making it?
I’m really crazy, like I am delusional at best. I feel intensely and I make decisions based on that, even in spite of knowing otherwise at a logical level. I jump into things, and they almost always happen to fit right into my patterns of bad habits. I think I expect a lot from people, even when I say I don’t, even when I don’t want to. I think that I want my intensity to be matched, it’s kind of all or nothing for me. These are all things I’ve known, things I didn’t want to admit, things I thought wouldn’t matter if I could just meet the right person and have the right relationship. I am a very reasonable person in most aspects but not when it comes to love and desire. I’m deeply insecure and I can’t communicate the way that I want to—so it’s not easy to love me or be loved by me. To some degree I’ve always known that, and now I’ve admitted it and recognized my capacity to hurt and be hurt by someone else, I’m trying to be more gentle with matters of the heart.
What's your earliest music-related memory?
I went to Catholic school for eleven years from when I was three to 14. There was a lot of singing involved and I remember in preschool we were singing “This Little Light of Mine” and we were doing a little dance with our hands during it. We’d cover our thumb or something with our other hand and then uncover it during the part where it’s “I’m gonna let it shine.” That’s probably my earliest memory of singing, but I also can’t really remember not singing along to the radio, especially with the CDs that my parents would play regularly. There was always music playing in the house and in the car. I still listen to America’s Greatest Hits all of the time because that was my favorite CD of theirs, I even got my own CD of it for my car.
What's the last album you played in full and really enjoyed, and why did you like it?
I got After the Gold Rush by Neil Young on CD and I play it in my car all of the time. I’ve reached a point where it lives in the CD player and I don’t even stop it anymore, it just plays front to back over and over again, the entire time I’m in the car. It’s a perfect album, every single song is top notch, just really impeccable songwriting. It’s hard to write a perfect song, much less a perfect album, but Neil Young managed to do it in my opinion.