Rachel Bobbitt’s EP, The Ceiling Could Collapse, was a long time coming. She made a name for herself on Vine as a teenager, uploading covers of pop hits and all-time classics to the now-defunct social media site. As her profile rose, Bobbitt found herself overwhelmed rather than inspired. “It was exciting to be doing what I loved, but it was difficult to be observed by that many people at that age where I simultaneously wanted to just shut myself in,” she says. “I’m grateful it ended when it did, because it gave me time to step back and think about what I wanted to create for myself.” She soon found herself at a jazz program, before leaving it during the pandemic to focus on her own music, which is when The Ceiling Could Collapse began to take form.
Life runs in rhythmic loops, from the endless rotations of the earth to the running of tides and yearly rebirth of spring. Rachel Bobbitt knows that the bottom of those cycles can feel pretty chaotic. “Every woman I’ve ever talked to is in some amount of pain almost all the time,” the emerging singer-songwriter says. “That could be physical pain, emotional pain, familial pain, but it’s there in cycles.” On her penetrating and profound new EP, The Ceiling Could Collapse, Bobbitt picks through the dizzying rubble of folk and indie rock for moments of resonant emotion and frames them in heartbreaking lyrics and openhearted expanses.
After refining the six songs of The Ceiling Could Collapse on her own, Bobbitt brought together collaborator and co-producer Justice Der and drummer Stephen Bennett to record the EP at Bennett’s studio in Brampton, Ontario. The trio spent 10 days cracking open Bobbitt’s compositions, leaving space to experiment on different vocal takes and sonic palettes. Throughout the EP, Bobbitt and Der’s arrangements strike into the deep waters of Phoebe Bridgers, Bon Iver, and Big Thief, and Grammy-nominated mixer Jorge Elbrecht rounds everything to a glacial shine.
The Ceiling Could Collapse centers on the cycles of life and how we find meaning in extremes: pain, joy, wonder, love. In addition to music, Bobbitt draws those same feelings from horror films—and pulled the title to this EP while reading the script to 2018’s Hereditary. A horror fan as inspired by the genre’s cavernous emotions as its artful mechanisms, Bobbitt was so enamored by Ari Aster’s film that she needed to dig into its architecture. She focused on a deleted scene, in which one-character attempts to comfort another in a time of trauma by reminding them that the world is chaotic, that questioning why bad things happen is pointless in a world where the roof could just fall on you at any moment. “We need to accept that we can’t have our minds fixated on all these things that could happen, and we need to move on—but also the ceiling could just collapse,” she laughs. More than unpredictability, it’s the endless repetition of life that suggests both things are true, that there’s no reason to worry and something terrible is about to happen. The ceiling collapse may be inescapable, but once it’s gone, there’s just more room for the sunrise to peek through.