ALBUM REVIEW: Sydney Sprague // maybe i will see you at the end of the world

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Recommended Tracks:  object permanence, quitter, what u want
Artists You May Like:  Hayley Williams, Tate McRae, Wolf Alice

These days, all anyone wants is the past.  Bucket hats are having a moment.  Old television shows are getting reboots.  And tie dye.  So much tie dye.  No matter how many movies we watch or fanny packs we wear, though, there are times when we will never come close to capturing the feelings or the sensations that we used to experience when we were younger – unless you are Sydney Sprague.

Sydney Sprague is not a 90s pop star or a moody grunge singer from the early 2000s, but her music convinces you otherwise.  If you do not feel in a time warp when you hear her voice, then maybe you will feel it through the stories she shares on her debut album, maybe i will see you at the end of the world.  From feeling bitter about those who have love in their lives to yearning over someone she does not know how to impress, Sydney puts all of the awkwardness, sarcasm, and doubt out there for everyone to connect with – and find a way to live through.  Maybe.

After the valiant opening track, “i refuse to die,” we step into my favorite track on the album, “object permanence.”  Between the summery hues we get from the guitars and the silkiness from Sydney’s folksy timbre, the mood that comes through is so inviting.  While Sydney playfully describes how agonizing it is to “get used to” being alone all of the time, there is never a moment where we feel too sorry or too down.  We also get a little extra flair from alternative artist, Danielle Durack, whose airy voice rounds out the track.

The bolder moments happen with the tracks that are more on the alt-rock end of the spectrum, such as “steve” and “staircase failure.”  Not only do these tracks showcase how beautifully Sydney’s voice can go from folk to rock, but they also capture her unique style.  Sydney is able to paint many different, yet cohesive, pictures in her songs, whether she recalls a feeling, a thought, or a memory.  In the end, we know exactly what she is saying and can completely relate.

Another special aspect of Sydney’s style is the way she does not use a punchy chorus or a catchy riff to get the point across.  For instance, on “what u want,” Sydney simply states her feelings for someone, almost as if reciting lines from a diary.  Her words are not covered up by the music, are not hidden between analogies or metaphors.  Yet, when it finishes, the track still lingers in your mind, and you feel emotionally drained.

Taking things a step further are “you have to stop” and “wrongo,” which leave you with chills.  Sydney tends to put you in a type of trance with the former, as she repeatedly sings, “You know you do this every time.”  After a while, you get how upset she feels, and you really do wish for it to stop.  Meanwhile, “wrongo” features a haunting melody, sinister swells of sound, and a chorus that is as haunting as it is endearing.  In the end, I am left wondering if I should feel sad or scared…or both.

The album comes to a close with “end of the world,” a partial nod to the album title.  Up until this point, Sydney has given us tracks that have a lot to do with emotional and physical devastation.  She reiterates this sentiment, singing “I just think the worst and my body’s breaking down,” but you sense that Sydney will not be in this place forever; there is a slight undertone of optimism that breaks through.  She just might see you at the end of the world, after all.

Overall, maybe i will see you at the end of the world is a strong beginning for Sydney.  The tracks are so personal, yet relay many thoughts and questions that I experience on a daily basis.  I also get lost in Sydney’s voice, and love how each track brings out her classic tone.  Critics might suggest that there should be more melody or energy on the album, but really, when you have the voice and you have the lyrics, what more could you want?

maybe i will see you at the end of the world is available on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.

Keep up with Sydney Sprague:  Twitter // Instagram // Facebook // Website // YouTube

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