“I Will Not Return as a Tourist” – Micah Visser (Lyrics by Micah Visser)
But how high do we need to get before we see we’re stuck on the ground?
Whether intentional or not, Micah Visser‘s sprawling new single “I Will Not Return as a Tourist” is like an alternate take of Death Cab For Cutie’s “You Are A Tourist.” Visser has a deep restlessness in his soul that mirror’s DCFC frontman, particularly as Ben Gibbard’s sings, “if you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born then it’s time to go.” Over the course of the song, Visser examines his unhappiness, how unfamiliar his city now feels to him and experiments with disappearing – travelling to a small town only to find a jazz singer singing “Blue Velvet,” rather than what he needs.
Though Visser begins “I Will Not Return as a Tourist” shaking with uncertainty, he differs from Gibbard, whose solution is always to run. In the line above, and really the pinnacle of the song, Visser grows strong and comes to understand that floating is no way to live a life. Looking to his own future, then, he determinately yells: “when I return I swear it will not be as a tourist.” A hell of a transformation in one song.
– Laura Stanley
“Come” – She-Devils (Lyrics by Audrey Ann and Kyle Jukka)
You will see that I know what I’m doing. Don’t try to resist me, come come come come come come
The repeating guitar riffs make this song ridiculously simple in structure but there is something sinister in the song’s title word “come”. It’s a bit creepy, sexual, full of affection and mystery. It’s not so much the words but the repetition of one word that makes this song so interesting and alluring. It could totally be replaced by a naughty word that sounds exactly the same and would make total sense.
“When the Flavour Goes” – Paradise Animals (Lyrics by Mark Andrade)
If I see one more picture, if I see one more frame, I will recreate those pictures, I will recreate my name.
We all have those moments when we think “I’ve been doing the same shit for too long. It’s time to do something new!” The highlighted lyrics from Paradise Animals’ Day Bed rings true because of its universality—musicians may feel like their work is stagnating and go in new directions, just as people stuck in the same career may dump everything to do something they love. But there’s added complexity to these lyrics, because as they’re repeated throughout the song, the music (and Andrade’s enunciation) gets more and more intense. Perhaps the artists have reinvented themselves too much.
“So Long, Dear” – Valois (Lyrics by Charles Hoppner and Shannon Murray)
Babe you are, to me
The death of all my dreams
A warped record I can’t throw out
From the excellently named album ‘Love Dies But You Won’t’ comes “So Long, Dear”, a song about a poor dude who cannot get over the memory of his lost love. She must have hurt him bad because there is a lot of pain and anger there (“…the site of all my hatred…”). But this isn’t simply a matter of not being able to forget because he still remembers the love he felt. The fact is, he doesn’t want to forget. Why? Because, like the warped record, you can’t throw these things out. All those imperfect, unpleasant, hurtful things are just as much a part of who we are as all the good things. For this guy it’s “A song I can’t stop writing.”
“Hide” – Matt Monoogian (Lyrics by Matt Monoogian)
I know the light is gone but you can’t stop.
Putting aside how deeply captivating Monoogian’s vocal accompaniment is on this entire track, there’s something about this particular turn that just so perfectly summarized the ethos of his debut release. After laying out a string of insurmountable obstacles, Monoogian opts to overcome them with the simplest of ideas, the idea that stopping and giving up is more impossible. In an album that doesn’t shy away from some of his darkest moments, this pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps is oddly resonant. Sometimes there isn’t a great intervention, just the realization that you have to keep going.
– Eleni Armenakis