BONNIE X CLYDE weather romantic fallout on ‘Tears In Paradise,’ learn to start anew on debut LP [Interview] : Dancing Astronaut

Written by on December 22, 2022

BONNIE X CLYDE weather romantic fallout on ‘Tears In Paradise,’ learn to start anew on debut LP [Interview]Bonnie Clyde Press Shot

The most traumatic experiences can lead to some of the most inspired art. That was certainly the case for BONNIE X CLYDE‘s Daniel Litman and Paige Lopynski. For six years they juggled producing together, touring together, and dating each other like a dance music alternate version of, say, Sonny & Cher. Then, almost two years ago their romantic relationship came to an end and the fate of BONNIE X CLYDE hung in the balance.

After the trials and tribulations of falling in and out of love, Litman and Lopynski emerged from their figurative ashes stronger than ever to create their largest, most poignant body of work to date—their debut album. The deeply personal LP explores the struggles that emerged their romance coming to an end, and the difficulties of learning to start anew together. In a candid, open conversation with Dancing Astronaut, the pair dive into their debut LP Tears In Paradise, which tells the story of BONNIE X CLYDE, out now via Lowly.

Daniel Litman and Paige Lopynski’s story goes all the way back to the eighth grade where they attended Robinson Secondary School together in Fairfax, Virginia. It was there that they became friends, but it wasn’t until they went their separate ways in college that their friendship turned into something more. In 2015, when the two were college seniors, they started talking frequently over Skype, where Litman would teach Lopynski how to produce music and they began dating. “The beginning of our relationship was centered around us making music together,” remarks Lopynski. From there, BONNIE X CLYDE was born.

In the years that followed, BONNIE X CLYDE would put out hits like 2017’s “Bass Jam,” play some of the biggest festivals in the world, and headline tours all while maintaining a romantic relationship. “We lived together, we created together, we traveled together for about four years straight,” Litman recalls. There was even a period of time for about a year and a half where they didn’t spend a single day apart. “It’s an interesting experience when you’re trying to understand yourself when you’re with somebody all the time and you’re prioritizing this thing that’s kind of outside yourself,” Lopysnki said in reference to the couple focusing so much on BONNIE X CLYDE that it took away from focusing on themselves.

Despite all the highs that come with the gig and despite the objective success they were having together professionally, Lopynski and Litman’s personal relationship was suffering, and that put BONNIE X CLYDE in jeopardy. Then things came to a head in early 2020, when the duo broke off their romantic relationship and left no clear path forward to continuing to work together. Then they released “Love Is Killing Me.”

The track that so perfectly described their situation in their personal lives went No. 1 on dance music radio and quickly became one of the duo’s most streamed songs to date. “We wrote that song in the moment of breaking up,” Litman explained before Lopynski added that it, “kind of saved us in a sense.” “We were like, ‘Wow, there is such value in what we’re dealing with.’”

“Love Is Killing Me” landed in June of 2020, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The combination of the success of their new single and the circumstances surrounding the lockdowns briefly brought the duo back together. They realized BONNIE X CLYDE did have a path forward after all.

But even after that, it wasn’t all roses for the self-dubbed Rose Gang. Over the months that followed, Lopynski and Litman’s struggles continued, in what Lopynski called a “situation-ship” based on the unusual circumstances they found themselves in. Eventually though, the longtime pair finally called their romance quits. But they never stopped making music. Says Litman,

“During that time when we were apart, we experienced things separately, but then we’d come together and find a common thread in our individual experiences that created this body of work.”

The body of work Litman is referring to is their debut album Tears In Paradise. The album was written over the course of 16 months after Litman and Lopynski had called their relationship off and were learning to adjust to working together without dating.

Inspired by the success of “Love Is Killing Me,” the album is intentionally in stark contrast from the trap and bass that the BONNIE X CLYDE project came up on. Falling out of love is somber, and traumatic; emotional in a way that doesn’t align with the “party rock” energy of old. Instead, the album lives in between melodic house and more laid-back electronic atmospheres, giving it a more melancholic feel than anything they’ve ever released before.

While Tears in Paradise is a noticeable change in BONNIE X CLYDE’s stylistic approach, it’s more a detour than a total fundamental shift. “This is just a feeling that’s suited to a moment in time for us that was very emotional,” Litman explains. Rest assured, longtime fans who have become accustomed to their sound of old have plenty to look forward to in the future.

Despite the album’s somber undertones, there is also a foundational optimism that runs though Tears In Paradise in how the pair pick themselves up and mend their relationship in a meaningful way. “Our relationship is deeper than just a romantic relationship,” says Lopynski. “It had these ups and down, but that only made us stronger. In this project we’ve gone through so much, but now we’re at this light at the end of the tunnel”.

Part of the Tears In Paradise experience is the debut of a brand new live show of the same name that will be more house-oriented and melodic than their normal BONNIE X CLYDE sets. “The best way to describe it is it’s like a therapy session for all of us,” Litman elaborates. The multidimensional performance shows off Lopynski’s talents as a singer, something that she does so well on almost every one of their releases to date. It’s a unique dynamic for an electronic artist to be able to supply vocals to their own track and it’s one that BONNIE X CLYDE use to their full advantage.

The ability of BONNIE X CLYDE to persevere beyond Litman and Lopynski’s romantic relationship is a testament to just how much the two love their craft. After all, their friendship predates high school, far exceeding the length of their romantic tie. Their chemistry runs deep, and it shows. Lopynski remarks,

“I think a huge part of us going into a romantic relationship was because we felt such a love for what we do. Creating together created such a cool space to love somebody in. [Then] we realized through these tense moments that maybe we’re not actually right for each other romantically. And that we mainly came together because we both are so passionate about this thing that we love”

Part of the new path for BONNIE X CLYDE includes this aversion to a singular sound or genre. The duo’s sound is really about who they are as real people in that moment and they can be transparent about that in a way they never have been before. To this day, diehard fans had no idea that Litman and Lopynski dated for all those years. But with Tears In Paradise out in the world, they want that to change. “We want people to learn from our story,” Litman shares. “You have to understand that people change. Love comes and goes, but whoever you’re with, no matter what happens in that relationship you can still go on loving that person even though you’re not being intimate with them.” Lopynski added, “love can take on different forms at different times of your life. You don’t always have to cut off a love when the romance is over, but love can transform into a new kind of love. We’re all just forever evolving.”

The story told on Tears In Paradise is genuine—it hits close to home. It’s a true story between two real human beings that loved one another deeply and had to learn on the fly how to remain friends bonded by a deep love for their craft. “I think music is moving towards being more raw and authentic, and that authenticity is just gonna keep on winning” Lopynski says. Litman and her will always be “party rockers at heart,” but that wasn’t authentic to them at this moment in time shrouded in uncertainty. Tears In Paradise is the truest expression of how they were feeling the last 16 months and artfully captures a moment of struggle between two creators.

After everything, Litman and Lopynski realized their love for music was stronger than any romantic relationship they ever had and because of that, BONNIE X CLYDE is here to stay. Tears In Paradise proves that not only are they here to stay, but that they’re better than ever. 

Featured image: BONNIE X CLYDE/Instagram

Tags: album, Bonnie x Clyde, chill electronic, debut album, lowly, lowly., melodic house, tears in paradise

Categories: Features

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