Based out of Phoenix, Arizona, singer-songwriter and self-confessed bedroom daydreamer Sydney Sprague kicked off her musical journey late last year with a run of singles from debut LP ‘maybe i will see you at the end of the world’. Lead single and album opener ‘i refuse to die’ is a headstrong introduction of intent, fuelled by driving instrumentation and empowering lyricism.
Another single, ‘object permanence’ also stands out on the record; an existential exploration that offers a depth of emotional insight that will resonate with the listener. While the song tells the story of someone coming to terms with feelings of separation and isolation, it also boasts the album’s catchiest hook that will linger long after it has finished.
Sprague’s ability to craft material that her audience can effortlessly connect with is stunning. This is largely thanks to the gentle and unobtrusive dynamic that allows ample space for Sprague’s vocals to take centre stage. Her mellow, often conversational, delivery only reinforces this notion of an innate intimacy between the songwriter and the listener.
With ‘00s pop-rock icon Avril Lavigne often cited as a point of inspiration for Sprague, this influence becomes particularly apparent in ‘steve’. Here, Sprague comes armed with distorted guitars and a big chorus that is ushered in by crashing drums and driving bass. What follows ‘steve’ is a sonic flurry of authenticity that expertly meanders between pessimism and optimism, often challenging to bridge the boundaries that separate the two mindsets.
Towards the end of the album, the likes of ‘wrongo’ and ‘what u want’ are notably downbeat and elicit a melancholic dip that even the less gloomy ‘time is gone’ can’t recover from. However, as the album’s namesake and thematic conspectus, the closing number more than justifies Sprague’s decision to bring the mood down and hammer home the message that her music carries.
Altogether, ‘maybe i will see you at the end of the world’ is the album that we need right now. Life as we knew it has been turned upside down — perhaps this is the music that can help us make sense of it all.