Minor Holidays Release Double A Side Single “Times The Pain / Seashore”
San Francisco’s Minor Holidays are defined by the simple idea that playing music is an act of celebration. Singer &…
I’m Glad We’re Friends - Count Your Lucky Stars Records
Thank You, I’m Sorry is a welcome addition to the genre of female fronted deadpan indie-pop. The Minneapolis trio is the type of melancholy, emotionally upfront band that fans of Cayetanna, Best-Ex and Retirement Party are likely always on the prowl for. The band’s sophomore full length, I’m Glad We’re Friends, offers up twelve songs of deeply honest confessions that capture the wandering insecurities of setting out on your own in your early twenties. It’s an album of second guessing one’s thoughts, assuming the worst, and confronting disappointment in the eye of the storm.
The album serves as a “formal” debut, although it does borrow and rework a handful of songs from their precious release. While the band started out as a mostly acoustic trio, their current direction finds them plugging in their instruments and lathering their songs in hanging reverb and lingering echoes. The result is highly emotional and simplistically atmospheric.
Opening with “Manic Pixie Hurl,” Thank You, I’m Sorry sets the tone with a bedroom confessional, speaking vulnerably and upfront in the line, “I’m hiding under my covers, talking to my mother on the phone, trying to calm down, I wish I was better at being alone.” In this regard, I’m Glad We’re Friends is reminiscent of those late-night tell-all phone calls you had with your close friends in the midst of a semi-serious break-up at the onset of early adulthood – the ones where you question your compatibility with anyone and your overall place in the world. Generally the tempo is slow and hazy, like stumbling around your house in an encumbering wave of malaise. Matching the scenery, there are also some hints of post-punk in songs like “Slow Ghost,” further giving sonic echoes not unlike the quieter, more reflective moments of bands like Manchester Orchestra or Movements. But the atmosphere is not entirely instrumentally depressing, with songs like “Ten Dollar Latte” and “Backpack Life” adding a welcome jolt of life reminiscent of early Candy Hearts.
That being said, there needs to be a balance when writing music with a blade that cuts this close to the vital organs. The trick is ensuring that the lyrics read with sufficient emotion and situational pain without feeling completely hopeless. As a whole, that hope is present, but a couple songs take it a little far with lyrics that could be dressed up or made more artistically conveyed. For example, “How Many Slugs Can We Throw Against the Wall Until We Question Our Own Morality” contains the lengthy and repeated passage, “I tell myself, I’m going to die alone, I tell myself, I don’t have anyone, I tell myself, that I don’t matter much, I won’t ever accomplish the things I love.” It’s a true pit of despair that for some will tread a little too deep and explicitly into depressing terrain without as much of a hint of brighter skies. Instead, the rays of hope only peek through the clouds elsewhere on the album, which makes it less likely that this is the type of song you’d want to throw onto a playlist or listen to independently of the album (compared with “Backpack Life”).
Overall though, Thank You, I’m Sorry is a promising introduction to the rising Chicago indie-pop trio. I’m Glad We’re Friends channels an emo sensibility rooted in the heartbreak and helplessness that comes with transitioning to adulthood. Thank You, I’m Sorry only flirts with optimism – for a few fleeting moments – before wallowing in the waters of self-defeat. That being said, the sheer honesty and raw emotion framing I’m Glad We’re Friends overcomes the rather direct and discouraging tone of certain songs. Intermittent glimmers of hope nourish a message of resilience that regardless of all the bruises – in spite of the surrounding darkness – it’s still not time to throw in the towel.