By Sara Nigro
Indie band The Backseat Lovers dropped “Waiting to Spill” on Oct. 28, marking the group’s first album release since 2019.
Known for their songs “Kilby Girl” and “Watch Your Mouth,” both of which rose to popularity through TikTok trends, The Backseat Lovers have gained a notable following in the past couple years.
Since “Waiting to Spill” is 47 minutes long with only 10 songs, many of the tracks are longer than typical songs. This album structure is common for the band, as many of their previous releases include songs that range from four to six minutes.
The album opens with a six-minute introduction titled “Silhouette,” which is a primarily instrumental track. Because of its length and minimal lyricism, I ranked this track my least favorite, although I do think it fits nicely as the first song. It starts off slow and delicate and increases in both speed and intensity as the song continues, making it a nice introduction to the album.
After this track transitioned to the next, I made sure to listen chronologically to get a greater sense of the piece of work as a whole. After listening to “Waiting To Spill” from start to finish, my favorite songs are: “Words I Used, Snowbank Blues” and “Follow The Sound.”
“Words I Used” features different voices in different verses, which gives the song a unique feel. It is a more upbeat track in comparison to some of the other songs that seem to consistently have a somber tone.
“Snowbank Blues” feels like a folk song because of its acoustic tune. The song includes lyrics that I appreciated such as, “Just because I'm smiling doesn't mean that I am smiling for myself/Take the stage and put the mask back on the shelf.”
“Follow The Sound,” the seventh track on the album, starts with a subtle humming and develops into a distinctive sound that varies from the rest of the tracks up to this point. This song is also upbeat, similarly to “Words I Used,” which contrasts the majority of the album, allowing it to stand out.
Different artists focus on different aspects of their work, such as lyricism, music production or vocals. The Backseat Lovers showcased their ability to excel in production throughout this album.
While listening, the main musical elements I noticed was the different types of instruments used throughout and how the band focused on creating a different sound in each song.
For example, The Backseat Lovers play around with volume to draw importance to different parts of songs, add humming sounds and transition the end of a song into the beginning of the next one. This is demonstrated during the end of “Silhouette,” as the music fades into the next track “Close Your Eyes” the full instrumentals abruptly shift to silence, indicating a change in tone.
Although the writing didn’t come across as the sole focus, there were lyrics that stood out to me and moved me as a listener. For instance, in “Follow The Sound,” the lyrics “Stumble in and out the mornings with the moon/I know I'm not the only one she's talking to/This troubled head of mine is making its big debut,” grabbed my attention immediately.
The Backseat Lovers are talented in expressing emotions through unique literary devices that tell a story in an often complex manner. This is exemplified in their song, “Growing/Dying” when they sing, “Why does the wall insist I have my back against it?”
As the album name does not share a title with any of the 10 tracks, I was curious as to how the band decided on the name. In “Slowing Down” the lyrics, “With the balance of my blood/And when I'll have to spill it,” seem to reference the album title, which I found interesting to hear half way through the tracks. Placing this line in the middle seems to represent the piece of work as a whole and serves as a nice tribute.
As “Waiting To Spill” draws to a close, the final song, “Viciously Lonely,” proves itself as a perfect ending track. The song encompasses the tone and storytelling found throughout the rest of the album, but also has an interesting structural element.
Unlike the most common structure of songs featuring verses followed by a chorus, “Viciously Lonely” consists of only five verses, all different from one another. This was done impressively well and highlights the talent of the musicians.
The album as a whole is a bit slow and drags on as a result of the above average song lengths. Despite this, The Backseat Lovers prove their musical abilities through impressive production and storytelling, leaving listeners with tracks that can appeal to a wide audience.