It's only been a week since the Boston-based DIY band Raavi & the Houseplants released their new single "Sticky," but I've had it on repeat ever since. The song, written by guitarist and vocalist Raavi Sita, is bouncy and fun, but the lyrics reveal something more bittersweet. Sita tells me she wrote it on the eve of the band's long-anticipated December 2019 album release, Don't Hit Me Up, which coincided with some personal obstacles that ultimately impacted the song's emotion.

"I had gone from an incredibly good mood to an incredibly awful mood so fast, and it felt like everything had just flipped on me, and suddenly, none of what I had been working towards even mattered anymore," Sita says. "It's funny because I wrote this a few months before the pandemic hit, but quarantine definitely highlighted all the themes in the song." Sita believes that many people went through an emotional process similar to what she had that night. "Quarantine brought everyone's lives to a halt."

"Sticky" was created entirely in quarantine, with only guitarists Josef Kiefer Agaraz and Justin Termotto recording together. This proved to be a challenge for the band, as drummer Madden Klass, bassist James Duncan, and Sita all had to remotely record while coordinating with Termotto, who also engineered, produced, and mixed the track. Sita tells me that recording her vocals was the most time-consuming part of the process.

"We ended up recording all my vocals, only to delete most of them and use my vocal take from the original demo," she says. "It's not the best vocal performance I've done (by far), but there was something about the quality of my voice that felt so disappointed, and we decided that was the vibe we wanted for the track. That first demo take was probably the best because I wasn't of the mindset that we were actually going to use it. Justin always says you can redo the take, but you can never redo the vibe."

Despite the recording difficulties, Sita declares that "Sticky" is her favorite song she's written so far. The lyrics are keen yet mysterious and capable of evoking many interpretations. Sita says she likes it that way. "The best songs make you think," she tells me. "'Sticky' does a good job of eliciting an emotional reaction from people, regardless of what they think the song is about."

Sita says that writing and creating music during the quarantine has been odd, but it has also allowed each band member to bring something new to their collective process. "I don't have people to bounce off ideas with the way I did before," she says, "So I'm sitting on a bunch of songs that I've written over the past few months and just thinking, 'are these any good?'

"Apart from what I wrote, I feel like everyone else really brought the sauce on this one," she went on to say. "Josef is playing this incredible Pom Poko-Esque harmonic riff throughout the entire track, and that's probably my favorite part he's written for this band. James is always writing my favorite basslines of all time, but he took the liberty of completely changing up the vibe of the second half of the instrumental, which was something we were completely stuck on beforehand. Justin wrote the amazing solo during the instrumental, which is cool because we almost never have solos in this band. And of course, Madden is completely holding it down this entire song with that sick shuffle."

It's been difficult for a band that is so used to working together to be apart. But with the pandemic showing no real signs of slowing, the Houseplants have decided to focus on smaller releases.

"We do have another track that is completely finished. I think we are going to hold off for a bit before we put it out though since the 'Sticky' release was a bit of a mess for us," Sita says. "That song is definitely a different vibe, but it is also one of my favorites, so I am equally excited about it dropping."

We'll be streaming "Sticky" until then — and likely for a while after.