My friend Lincoln a.k.a. sleepyboy just released his first album, i am sorry like god is sorry, so I thought I would attempt to share my (probably biased) thoughts on the album.
You can check out the album here.
- “lethe”: I admit, I had to google the title, and it turns out it’s a river in Hades whose water causes forgetfulness of the past in those who drank from the water. The word has also come to be used to mean general forgetfulness or oblivion. I think it’s a very smart title for an opening track, setting the listener up for songs mulling over the past. The images present in the lyrics likewise mediate between something grounded in reality and mythology. The place where it falls short is that the music overpowers the vocals and I can’t quite make out the lyrics toward the end. Still, this track gives the listener a glimpse of what’s to come: lyrics ruminating on the past and music that builds an atmosphere around the moment you are being carried through.
- “yr house”: I’m mostly captivated by the way the aural atmosphere surrounds the song and carries the listener along with the narrative presented in the lyrics of a relationship gone sour. I very much feel like the ghost who haunts sleepyboy’s residence, and the not-quite-real feeling that builds is alluring.
- “blue comforter”: Navigating the perilous road between euphoric and melancholy, this song really shows off sleepyboy’s versatile strengths when it comes to music. The emotional turmoil climaxes in some tastefully screamed lines that then coalesce with a more ethereal sound as if we are witnessing his departure into a more ghost-like existence.
- “i’ll miss everyone”: The feel good opening continues to carry the reader through this life as a ghost narrative we’ve been presented with. It’s a song for breezy afternoon outdoors and letting the world float on by. “I’ll be like tv / static and white noise / like all those other boys” might be one of my favorite lyrics from this album.
- “ouija bored”: First and foremost, I love the play on words occurring in the song’s title. It also continues the ethereal, ghost narrative that’s carried through much of the album. The small doses of lyrics offer a haunting narrative built on introspective glimpses. The track serves as a great example of sleepyboy’s ability to craft atmosphere around a song, but often times, the song feels mostly like atmosphere and leaves me wanting for there to be more to it.
- “bleachers”: Narratively driven, this track reiterates the themes the title track stirred, taking the listener back to moments from 2009 as dated in the lyrics. The sound seems kin to “blue comforter,” but holds a more nostalgic narrative reminding me of one of my favorite albums, The Academy Is…’s Fast Times at Barrington High. I’m drawn into the intimacies of this relationship and only wish I could explore more of its moments.
- “blue eyed/blue sky”: The not-quite-real feeling that resonates throughout this song reminds me of the opening track and the “you” who seems mythical, yet dangerous, leaving a wake of memories and regrets in her passing. The atmosphere is just as haunting as “ouija bored,” but seems more scattered.
- “first dab”: This track seems to be serving as an intermission in the album, transitioning the listener from one thing to another. While it shows off sleepyboy’s prowess as combining sounds and creating something larger than just music and words, it feels out of place on the album, especially the latter half, which reminds me off the sound effect to some theme park ride. While the title seems to be trying to contextualize the aural experience, it might just be my own inexperience or lack of knowledge in some realm that’s preventing me from seeing how all this connects.
- “sometimes people leave”: Another memory-driven song, the album returns to showcasing the culmination of sleepyboy’s talents. The ghost-like existence returns once more in this melancholy tune, reminding me of an earlier track, “yr house.” This song also nods to the album’s title, and works well with the variety of religions and beliefs incorporated throughout.
- “party 2”: In many ways, this feels like a final letter to the lover that appeared in many of the tracks. Despite it’s typical sleepyboy-style melancholy, there’s an ounce of optimism and sense of forward motion. Particularly in the final lyrics, which originate the album’s title: “I am sorry like god is sorry / got up off the couch / and walked out of your party / I am sorry like god is sorry / I went back home / and fell in love with somebody else.”
Overall: For this being sleepyboy’s first album, it’s impressive what he’s produced. His strongest tracks navigate complex emotions, ruminate on previous relationships, and carry the listener into the moment through well crafted atmospheres. The album shows focus and a clear sense of his sound, something that I expect to mature and continue to impress in his future releases. For now, this album deserves your full attention.