Review Summary: If there's a cool spot in hell, I hope you get it.
Remember when you got sick back in middle school? You stayed in bed all day, wrapped in warm, encompassing blankets while your mom made you some warm soup to sooth your throat, and maybe even threw in a homemade cookie on the side. I’m not really trying to get nostalgic with these thoughts, but there’s something about this album that brings to memory the sense of comfort.
elvis depressedly, a lo-fi indie pop group from South Carolina, first release as a full band (as opposed to a single songwriter/performer) has come in the form of a short, but solid album. Wrapped in a layer of fuzz, the 6 songs flow together; bringing a certain aesthetic to the music that seems to be common amongst members of the Birdtapes label (see Julia Brown and Teen Suicide). Each of the song’s melodies is instantaneously catchy and easy to immerse yourself into the pleasant atmosphere of the album.
The singer’s soft spoken voice, similar to that of Elliot Smith, gently guide the melodies while sitting in the hazy atmosphere that the album is composed in. The guitars are also fuzzy and atmosphere, the drums are faded in the back, sometimes barely audible, but still contribute to the aesthetic of the project nonetheless. Added instrumentation, such as the strings on a few of the tracks, are either the cleanest thing you hear on the album, or soaked in weird effects, such as on the closing track “thinning out”.
The lyrics on the album are truly what allow this project to be set out from other releases in this style. The album leads off with “okay”, whose melody seems to be cheery and light; that is until you read into the lyrics. The second line of the song reads, “I’ve become a catacomb of secrets, ***ed up inside”. And the lyrical theme doesn’t seem to lighten up over the course of the tracks on here; it pulls the “happy sound/depressing thoughts” scheme throughout the album. However this isn’t a bad thing however, in fact it allows the listener to further find comfort in shared pain and experiences.
One of the major drawbacks for the album is that it is a very short release, with the longest track on the album clocking in at a mere two and a half minutes. Also, sometimes the attempted experimentation can be less than satisfactory at times, such as the weird vibrato effect on the track “Teeth”. While some may enjoy it, it personally didn’t sit well with me. Overall this release is a worthwhile listen, with a set of memorable and catchy as hell lo-fi pop songs. It may not necessarily be the happiest release of the year, or the longest to say the least, but it will drape that blanket over your shoulder while you’re sipping on homemade soup.