Late Night Cardigan
Life Is Bleak and It's My Cheat Day


4.5
superb

Review

by YoYoMancuso STAFF
February 27th, 2022 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I wanna be laughing until 3, and not believe in stability.

Do you feel a twinge of hollow sadness even in your most joyful moments? Does your soul burn with passionate intensity, only for the jaws of fear to swallow it before the world can see who you truly are? Do you feel trapped in the backseat of life, your own thoughts the only barrier between you and the carefree laughter you’ve been missing all these years? If any of this resonates, you might take a liking to Memphis’s Late Night Cardigan. These types of emotional contradictions are the group’s bread and butter, to the point that they describe themselves as “sugar rush anxiety rock”, and their first full-length effort is a stunning example of just how euphoric fear can be. Life Is Bleak And It’s My Cheat Day is an instrumentally gorgeous and lyrically devastating record that deserves all the exposure it can get, as well as a seat at the table among the growing list of 2022’s best indie releases.

Life Is Bleak is first and foremost a record with heart, and that heart is beating at a swift and concerning speed, adrenaline and dopamine hastening its once sluggish pace. Even in its quieter, prettier moments, the record feels fraught with tension; observe the intro/verse progression of “As A Friend”, an undeniably beautiful riff that simultaneously conjures images of furious thunderclouds gathering. “Dale Cooper” and “Bath” slow things down to a jog to achieve a similar effect, while aptly titled closer “Slow Motion” utilizes a masterful tempo change to initiate a torrential downpour. This type of emotional impact is impossible without exemplary musicianship, and Late Night Cardigan are more than up to the task. Kacee Russell and Stephen Turner’s dizzy, interlocking guitar melodies form the foundation of the album’s sound, transforming tracks like “Slow Motion” and “Dale Cooper” from midtempo slogs into truly transcendent compositions. I could spend this entire review talking about “B Movie”, a contender for the best song of 2022 so far, but I’d rather let its spindly lead lines and stunning climax speak for itself. The rhythm section is equally impressive, featuring the creative orchestration of drummer Zach Mitchell and the disciplined attack of Jesse Mansfield on the bass.

Late Night Cardigan’s instrumental talent is self-evident, but it’s Russell’s singing voice that carries the album’s sound and guides it into heavenly territory. From the moment she enters the arrangement on opener “Beware of Me”, her vocals consistently leave me spellbound for the rest of the album’s runtime. They’re powerful while allowing themselves to be playful, and the wavering timbre of her voice grants her the ability to effortlessly convey longing, fear, happiness, or anything else she’s feeling. It’s a praiseworthy performance from beginning to end, and it’s wonderful to know she’s just getting started. Life Is Bleak is a triumphant debut, and while it’s not without its imperfections (some muddy production and a slightly subpar track in “Happy Truman”), it’s a record that any lover of indie rock has to put on their radar. It marks the arrival of an accomplished band and an otherworldly vocalist onto the scene, and the fact that they’ve got so much more to offer is beyond exciting to me.



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user ratings (38)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
YoYoMancuso
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2022


19038 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Trust me, y'all wanna get on this



Bandcamp: https://latenightcardigan.bandcamp.com/album/life-is-bleak-and-its-my-cheat-day

Bilbodabag
February 27th 2022


167 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad you got around to this! It's really really good

YoYoMancuso
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2022


19038 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

heck yeah I’m hoping they can find some new fans here on sput

Pheromone
February 27th 2022


21493 Comments


do i: (a) hate the name late night cardigan (b) love it (c) undecided

GmemberKills
February 27th 2022


4492 Comments


damn i remember loving their ep back in 2018 didn't realize they had something else coming. def gonna check

YoYoMancuso
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2022


19038 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Gmember I believe 4 of these songs are from the EP, but the new songs (Beware of Me, Backseat, B Movie, Bath, Slow Motion) are all great

Slex
February 27th 2022


16805 Comments


Ooooo shit this sounds made for me

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2022


5552 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

woah nice great review i must check

YoYoMancuso
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2022


19038 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^ Slow Motion will be your SOTY i feel it in my bones

Pikazilla
February 27th 2022


30488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was excellent

Slex
February 27th 2022


16805 Comments


AND Pika likes it? Woah

Pikazilla
February 27th 2022


30488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, thought I'd hate this when I saw the name, but nah, this rules

YoYoMancuso
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2022


19038 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pika i will never be able to accurately predict your taste, but i'm glad you liked!

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2022


5552 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ur clairvoyant yoyo, 'slow motion' has been yoten straight into my 'best 2022 songs' playlist lol!

so yea this rules

YoYoMancuso
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2022


19038 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yoten

Pikazilla
February 27th 2022


30488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yoyoman

YoYoMancuso
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2022


19038 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

B Movie is so fkn good like damn

neekafat
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2022


26427 Comments


hmmmmmm

Voltimand
February 28th 2022


1670 Comments


This is what I wish Snail Mail became, and the indie rock album I've been waiting for

YoYoMancuso
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2022


19038 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^ Bilbodabag recommended me this album and called it "better Snail Mail"



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