Junior Mesa has dropped “Pushing Away” ahead of his new EP, Cirque Du Freak, set for release Aug. 13 via Nice Life Recording Company. This is the third single from the upcoming project, following “Listen Close” and “Paranoia Dreams.” 

“Pushing Away” is a sad song, sneakily disguised by its groovy instrumentals. The drum beats act as little bursts of light to illuminate buoyant guitar riffs, basking the somber lyrics in a cavalier glow.

The music video that accompanies “Pushing Away” helps to add a lighthearted veil over the song. The visual features Mesa as he meets a masked character, referred to in the credits as “Black Diamond Santa.” The two develop a partnership after the mysterious figure mimics his every move, making them ideal dance partners. They perform a routine together and even tag-team battle an intimidating figure. You can watch the surreal music video below. 

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Mesa talked about the story behind the song in a press release. 

"I was in a bad relationship," Mesa says. "We had a long and painful falling apart, and there wasn't ever a fine line between together and not together, so we grew apart slowly over time."

The artist was also inspired by music from the late ‘60s and ‘70s while creating the EP,  drawing from the musical stylings of works such as the BeatlesSgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

“What’s happening now is very similar to what was happening then,” Mesa explains. “People were experimenting with the new technology, synthesizers had just come out and they were pushing their tape recorders to their limits.”

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The rest of the inspiration for the EP began taking root in an unlikely event: a seizure during a Ms. Lauryn Hill concert. 

“It felt like my reality wasn’t real, like nobody could understand what I was going through—not even my doctors,” Mesa says.

That seizure wouldn’t be the last, leading to the creation of individual characters in Mesa’s brain to help him cope with his epilepsy diagnosis. The crew includes The Diva (how Mesa hoped to be perceived), Tubby Terrance (a retired clown) and Freakout Mode (a ghoul representative of Mesa’s anxiety).

“There was a freakshow going on around me, clowns jumping out to scare me, and I’m not religious, but it felt like the devil was the ringmaster,” he says.

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Mesa described the tumultuous relationship he had with music after first receiving his diagnosis in the press release.

“It was really hard to make music because my seizures were caused by overstimulation,” he explains. “I was in this toxic relationship with music: It was the only thing I loved, but it was killing me in a very literal way.”

Now, Mesa is in a better place. 

“I didn’t think I’d ever feel better, but once I did, I wanted to lash out against the world and do whatever I wanted to do… I don’t think I was fully ready to look internally until I was forced to by my traumatic experiences,” he says.

Check out the rest of the singles released off Cirque Du Freak so far below.

Cirque Du Freak tracklisting:

1. “Pushing Away”
2. “What's Enough Pt.2”
3. “Risen Up”
4. “Listen Close”
5. “Paranoia Dreams”

“Pushing Away” lyrics: 

Pushing away
All the time
Said you’d be fine
But you lied
I thought you wouldn’t mind
It was just one time
Just one time

Well, I want you, but you can’t be my baby
And I know you probably think that I’m crazy
How I’m pushing away, pushing away
Stop trying to be the woman that saves me
You know I want you, but you can’t be my baby
So I’m pushing away, Aw I’m

Pushing away
Pushing away all the time
Said you’ll be fine but you lied
I thought you wouldn’t mind, it was just one time, just one time
Well, I want you, but you can’t be my baby
And I know you’ll probably think that I’m crazy, how I’m
Pushing away
Pushing away

Stop trying to be the woman that saves me
You know I want you, but you can’t be my baby, so I’m
Pushing away
Pushing away
Pushing away all the time
Said you’ll be fine, but you lied