The Backseat Lovers released their sophomore studio album “Waiting to Spill” at midnight on Oct. 28. This album is fiercely vulnerable in comparison to their debut album, “When We Were Friends.”
Well known for their strong guitar solos, the indie band relies on piano and drum instrumentals for a change. The lyrics — accompanied by these emotive melodies — discuss struggles through heartbreak and reminiscing on life before growing up.
An overarching theme of the album is growing up and developing into a new person even if the unknown future is terrifying. The opening track, “Silhouette,” leans into this. It begins slowly, with only the strum of a guitar.
As the song progresses, it transitions into a faster-paced alternative number. The drums build up, creating the sound similar to one of a starting gun. The lyrics are scant but include the lines, “Run / While you can / While you are still a silhouette of a man,” which add to this feeling of getting your life started and not looking back. The fast-paced transition alludes to that feeling of running; they’re picking up the pace and running from their old selves.
The song transitions into the next track, “Close Your Eyes,” as lead singer Joshua Harmon begins with the line, “Do you wanna be like your father / The older you get / Your head’s getting harder.”
Touching on the worries of getting older, this song beautifully tells the story of growing into yourself and separating the person you become from who your parents are. “I always knew I'd let you go / Have to see you die to grow,” may refer to growing into a new part of himself, as his life continues to change.
“Waiting to Spill” touches on the theme of heartbreak a number of times. The fifth track, “Words I Used,” begins with a softer piano melody. Its lyrics stray from what the band normally writes, until the second and more upbeat verse comes in. Harmon sings, “Tried my best this time / To keep your hand in mine / But it's written out and I'm ripping out the page,” as he dives into the love lost after waiting and trying to hold onto his past lover.
The final track, “Viciously Lonely,” ties all of these themes together — from heartbreak to growing up. “And of course, I'm pleading from the porch / Just stay / Maybe the winter will cut me some slack this year / Maybe I'm telling myself what I'd like to hear,” Harmon sings, reminiscing about asking for his lover to stay with him.
He then acknowledges the fact that he will be alone for the time being. “But as my youth begins to expire / I'll slowly put a little less wood on the fire / But maybe it'll turn, like a roll of old film,” can show the intricacies of growing up. As the band is getting older, they’re not putting as much energy into things they used to care more about. Maybe something could change that energy, like creating new, emotionally raw music for their band.
“Snowbank Blues” is a personal favorite of mine. The sixth track off the album is mainly just the simple guitar and vocals The Backseat Lovers are known for. The harmonies in this song are impeccable, and I simply adore Harmon’s vocals as he sings about getting out of his hometown and leaving his loved ones behind to go on tour.
If it was possible to bottle up nostalgia and the feeling of longing into a song, the product would be “Snowbank Blues.” It’s just so simple compared to the rest of the album — but in the best way possible.
The perfect blend of nostalgia from “When We Were Friends” and their new, heart wrenching sound, “Waiting to Spill” is a fantastic addition to The Backseat Lovers’ catalog. From the fears we hold close when leaving our youth to longing for that past fling, the stories told are deeply relatable. This album is the perfect addition to any fall playlist.