Sports — a self-described group “of wizards from Oklahoma, conjuring up pop music spells for ears just like yours” — released their eagerly anticipated EP Get A Good Look Pt. 1 on Feb. 12.
The duo, longtime friends Cale Chronister and Christian Theriot, gives their fans a certain sense of familiarity in Get A Good Look Pt. 1. They still ground themselves unapologetically in the psychedelic, indie pop genre, as they did in their previous full-length albums Everyone’s Invited, People Can’t Stop Chillin and Naked All The Time. However, the cuttingly honest lyricism — specifically on songs like “Baby Baby,” “Never Know” and “Tell You Something” — is what sets up Get A Good Look Pt. 1 as the band’s best yet.
“Call Me Anytime,” the EP’s lead-off track, abstractly establishes the overarching theme of losing oneself and one’s energy in tiresome efforts to people-please. Lyrically, the song is repetitive, listeners being told over and over again to ‘call me anytime/if you’d like.” Here, though, the desperation of always making oneself available is almost cinematically represented in this repetitiveness. Without giving too much away, it allows for a comfortable transition into the rest of the body of work, where the relation of self to the emotional perceptions of others is explored in depth.
“The Look,” “Baby Baby,” “Never Know,” and “Tell You Something,” were all released as singles, but their placement in between the two new tracks make sense. “The Look,” speaks on performing in the public eye, giving “em’ what they want'' both on stage and in everyday life. The remaining three deal with interpersonal relationships, with “Baby Baby” being the standout of the entire EP.
“It’s [“Baby Baby”] about a vicious cycle of not being able to comfort someone who is crying, and their crying ending up making me more upset than they are,” Chronister wrote for Genius.
“In the verses of the song I’m expressing my frustration with being unable to be comforting, and in the chorus I end up asking for comfort. It’s a messed up cycle that I find myself in. The ego placing itself where it doesn’t belong.”
The outro of Get A Good Look Pt. 1 — “Don’t Get Me Started” — indicates a breaking from that behavior, however. Chronister sings about taking his Chevy and leaving the indulgent lifestyle he’s unwittingly created for himself, with Theriot backing him up instrumentally. Listeners are swept up into the toxic cycle and triumphantly claw themselves out alongside Sports in waves of aggressive keyboard and bass.
With that final shifting of tone, Get A Good Look Pt.1 undoubtedly hints that its second part, releasing sometime later this year, will be an extension of messaging. Though emotional growth certainly doesn’t occur in a linear manner, Sports captures the jagged edges of the process admirably.