Thursday, June 03, 2021

Lostboy perfectly encapsulates the confusion of being young in a pandemic on their debut EP, 'Bad News'

The four-piece band from Sheffield are fronted by their namesake, Lostboy, who has a lot to say about the times we live in.

Their debut EP - ‘Bad News’ - is at times frantic, yet always manages to impress with its tight musicianship and production whilst the themes of loneliness, confusion, and ultimately disillusion will connect so clearly with the youthful audience they write for. 

The opening track ‘Kid’ begins with a riff reminiscent of early Peace songs yet, accompanied by a pop-infused backing track of fuzzy bass lines and driving drum fills, it has an urgency that is fast becoming a trademark of the band. 

Ideas of escapism are found throughout the EP; “Boy, you’ve got your head up in the clouds again / You’re dreaming of a better place / You ain’t thinking straight” sings Lostboy on ‘Kid’, lamenting the fact that “This modern age” is why we’re all “Feeling strange”. In a year in which the youth especially has felt like an afterthought of society, the ideals of this song will resonate with a generation that appears forgotten. 

The title track and lead single from the EP leaves no doubt in our minds about the band's feeling towards the current state of affairs. The frenzied three-minute piledriver of a song is an ode to the joys of switching off the television and finding solace in music and marijuana. The accompanying music video starts with flashes of words such as ‘Pubs Closed’ or ‘Lockdown 3.0’ before Lostboy himself storms into a newsroom and persuades the anchors to dance. The theme of the song; a nonchalant attitude to the world’s problems amidst rising tensions, where the only thing worth caring about is the sounds of the mixtape, is a joyous one. The feral make-up of the music only enhances its primal simplicity in an increasingly complicated world. 

A synth straight out of the 80’s kicks off the third track, before power chords and heavy-metal fused guitar riffs, burst the song into life. ‘Charlie’ on the surface is a simple song about missing your partner yet the wordplay in lyrics such as ‘You don’t move me like you used to’ could just as easily be a reference to the overuse of the substance that shares its name with the song. At a time when dangerous vices are often the only excitement we can find, the double entendre found on ‘Charlie’ is a reminder that boredom only leads to bad decisions, whether it be a relationship with a human or something more sinister. 

The standout track on the EP is ‘Fix’. Heavily reverbed chords open the song ahead of driving drums and powerful bass whilst the chorus is the band’s first hint at shoegaze with its ethereal riffs and echoing backing vocals. The song encapsulates an idea of derealization that often comes with a sense of feeling out of place through the monotonous day to day lives of a couple. “I feel the same / Just like I did yesterday” laments Lostboy, but as we all know that’s just a “Sign of the times”. The song evolves into a plea for his lover to love herself – “I don’t know why / You waste your time / Worrying about your waistline” moans the lead singer. The innocence of the lyrics paired with the emotive music gives the sense of a young couple at odds with the place they find themselves. The fact Lostboy are able to make such a subject so endearing is a credit to the ability of the band. 

Closing out the EP is the moody ‘Self(ish)’. The track finds ‘Bad News’ ending on a somewhat positive note with Lostboy resolving to get out of the rut he seems to have found himself in on previous songs. Whilst the track may begin with the tails of “No sleep / Glued to a screen” for our lonesome and depressed protagonist, we get the sense that he is waking up to a new dawn. “I’ll medicate myself / Until I’m well” proclaims the singer with an air of desperation, yet the crescendo of screeching guitars and crashing drums gives a sense of optimism over the strained vocals of Lostboy. 

In many ways ‘Bad News’ feels like a cathartic exercise for the band. It goes through their feelings on the loneliness and malaise of being young and couped up, expresses their regret at how they dealt with such hardship and how it affected their relationships, before resolving to be better. The resolve comes at a time when many will have to face consequences for their actions as society slowly opens. If Lostboy tells us one thing, it’s that we’re not alone, and for a generation that may feel that way, the Lostboy EP will be falling on grateful ears.

James Ogden 

Image: Iwan Lloyd

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment Here;