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The Backseat Lovers’ ‘Waiting to Spill’ worth the wait

The Backseat Lovers’ ‘Waiting to Spill’ worth the wait

The Backseat Lovers’ ‘Waiting to Spill’ worth the wait
December 01
13:00 2022

Growth is the most common theme throughout Utah-based band The Backseat Lovers’ sophomore album, “Waiting to Spill.”

Three years after the release of the band’s debut album, “When We Were Friends,” fans waited for the album to spill for quite some time. The wait is over for lovers of the Backseat Lovers.

This time, their album consists of coherent, continuous songs that flow from one to the next. It is unlike their first album, which included songs recorded separately over time and thrown together onto a record.

This is the band’s first album to be released under a major label. It was produced by David Greenbaum, a six-time Grammy Award winner who has produced work for Paul McCartney and Cage the Elephant.

This album sounds significantly different from the last. If you listen to the album with the expectation of it sounding like its predecessor, you will be surprised but not necessarily disappointed. After all, it has been three years since songs like “Pool House” and “Maple Syrup” first hit the airwaves. The band members have since transitioned from their late teenage years to their early 20s.

This time around, the songs sound more emotional, moody and almost grungy, whereas their first album could be described as indie pop with a brighter yet still emotional sound. Comparisons of the songs can be made to music by Radiohead and Nirvana.

The band has seen a lot of growth in its members and its fan base. Concert tickets for their album preview tour cost upwards of $80, whereas during their tour a year ago tickets sold for $20 at similar venues.

The sound and music on this album reflect that. In 2020, “Kilby Girl” went viral on TikTok, and since then, the band has seen a steady increase in attention and fame.

While many songs on their debut album, like “When We Were Friends,” talk about loving, longing for or losing someone romantically, the lyrics in these songs are about self-growth, self-reflection and longing for a time of innocence. This could suggest the relatively newfound fame and success of the band is something unexpected and stressful.

The album opens with “Silhouette,” a six-minute, mostly instrumental song with mellow guitar and a total of 24 words sung throughout. The soft guitar sound appears throughout the rest of the songs on the album, including the second track, “Close Your Eyes.”

“Close Your Eyes” discusses the fear of growing up and turning into your parent, with the chorus echoing “Could you waste your life / If you painted mine?” The gentle, calm singing by lead vocalist Joshua Harmon gives the listener a feeling the song is an intimate conversation with his father, presumably the person he fears turning into. While the album as a whole shows growth, this song suggests growth as being scary.

The only single from the album, “Growing/Dying,” sounds the most like the band’s previous work. The song starts out with what sounds like channel surfing before a few guitar strums and a brief drum beat that ounch in before the lyrics start. The distorted sound of the song makes it sound like it’s “dying” out, even though the lyrics are talking about growth, which is a clever juxtaposition of lyrics and sound.

“Close Your Eyes” and “Growing/Dying” both capture the vibe of this album through lyricism and musicality. Despite this, the rest of the songs are worth a listen as well.

With the release of this album, the band announced a full tour along with their brief, seven-performance album preview tour with appearances across the United States as well as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The band will make three stops in Texas, appearing in Austin, Dallas and Houston in May.

Although “When We Were Friends” is the album that launched The Backseat Lovers to stardom, “Waiting to Spill” shows growth and maturity in the band and a promising future. The ability to pull off a completely different sound than what listeners are used to is indicative of artists knowing their stuff.

Kaitlynn’s rating: 4/5

Featured Illustration by Isabella Alva

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Kaitlynn Hutchins

Kaitlynn Hutchins

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