Listening to Following Through feels like walking through your high school’s halls on the last day of school. This very specific feeling overpowered me during my numerous listens (and I’m sure will continue to do so) of Space Classic //’s latest. This walk is marked by nostalgia and an anxiety surrounding the future that is almost unbearable. You grasp at a past you’re happy to leave behind but yet is so damn comforting.
Jesse Nakano (Space Classic //) sings of this delicate balance of feelings: lust, losing friends to growing up, and he even grapples with his relationship with God, making this journey entirely his own. Sonically, Following Through is immersed in a haze of vocal and guitar reverberation, synths, and keyboards. Like the hushed gossip that fills the hallways, the effect is a comfort as much as it hides Nakano’s honest lyricism.
During Nakano’s final walk through, his temporary confidences (“Following Through”) hide the fear he feels for his friends. He sees the library (“I Want That Car Again”) and misses the good old times, reflecting, “four years, for years we’re all dressed up. We’d jump around like fools and make a bunch of dumb videos.” He sees an old prom poster and it triggers his romantic frustrations (“I Cannot Figure You Out”). He cringes at his mistakes (“No Smokes”). He walks by the classroom he studied religion in and wonders about God’s existence – “it’s a hopeless pursuit I think I might quit” (“Novelty”) – and the weight of putting your trust in the unknown – “but I trust that you’ve got it all and I trust that you are good” (“Brando”).
As he pushes through the front doors, he squints at the hot sun, sees the vague shapes of his (for now) friends in the distance and mumbles (“Stay”) to himself, “do you find it hard when you leave your friends behind?”
Throughout Following Through Nakano repeats his lyrics. Simple sentences or questions are said again and again to form verses and entire songs. Mantra-like, with each lyrical repetition, his uncertainty becomes less and less. A yearbook of adolescent memories, a trip down memory lane, Space Classic // is ready for the future.
Top Track: “Following Through”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)