It’s one of those classic, relaxing Saturday mornings for me. It’s just after ten in the morning and I’ve already made a homemade quiche, got caught up on dishes, and have resorted to just sitting at my desk as I watch the flurries come down outside. Yes, flurries. Yes, it’s sticking to cars (barely but still) and yes, it’s barely mid-October. Honestly, it’s kind of cozy and I kind of love this so I dug through my pile of albums to review hoping to find something just as cozy as my warm apartment. I picked out ‘Introvert’s Plight’ by When We Land. The colors used on the cover are warm and inviting and I hoped that this album would be the perfect soundtrack for the current moment. I was right.
The ten song album start with “Wait”, a somewhat upbeat yet also calming opening track. I instantly found comfort in the tone of the Jesse Baxter’s vocals. They are inviting and warm but also exactly what you would want from any upbeat and care-free indie rock band. The rest of the band just highlights this comfort with warm sounds that also make you want to give up and move a bit. Although I was hoping for something very calm and chill when I popped this album in, it was clear I was going to get so much more and get a sound that would have me continuing on with my already productive Saturday morning.
“Throttle and the Wind” takes the classic indie-pop sound laid out in “Wait” and seems to expand on it. There’s a new sense of pain that seems to take over Baxter’s words but that doesn’t stop the driving beat from keeping my toes tapping. That stark contrast is something that clearly sets When We Land from being boxed into that “generic indie pop scene” that, although I love so much, seems to be beyond over-saturated. Honestly all of the songs have elements that keep them from being put into that box. “Kicking and Screaming” calms things down for a ballad like track but, again the vocals stand out for being unique and the instrumentation does a beautiful way of only highlighting those vocals without overpowering them.
“Kicking and Screaming” definitely knocked the album down a peg as far as upbeat toe-tapping songs go and “Wake Up O Sleeper” keeps with that calming vibe. Although I found myself waiting for the beat to kick back in, there is no denying the beauty in these two tracks and, had the album started off like this, I would have been all for it. Sadly, now I was in my energized, get shit done, kind of mood and these songs just weren’t doing it for me. Again, I want to emphasize the beauty in these two songs and, had I been a different mood, I would have absolutely been gushing over every note of these two tracks.
As suspected, “Take Me Back Again” amped up the sound and energy back to the way the album started and I instantly found myself tapping my toes again. This track has an almost bluesy infused vibe to it. A little dirty and slurred when it comes to the lyrics and instrumentation, there’s something very rich about this song that I just could not get enough of. I thought maybe that bluesy vibe was a one time only type of deal but then the album moved onto “Five Bar Blues”. Yeah, the name pretty much says it. Again, showcasing the fact that When We Land refuses to be put into any box, “Five Bar Blues” seems to come out of left field but Jesse’s vocals and certain quirks in the instrumentation make it clear that you are still listening to the same band.
The next track, “Hi My Son”, is nothing short of beautiful. Although every song on this album is beautiful, this one had me stuck. Another ballad-like track, this one moves slow and felt more quiet than the other nine tracks. Maybe it was the way it followed the upbeat style of “Five Bar Blues”, or maybe it was the beautiful keys being played behind the almost whispered words, whatever it was, this song is absolutely stunning and, although not really in the mood for slow songs, I couldn’t help but just get lost in my cup of coffee and the flurries falling outside as this song played through.
“Come Home” shocks the system a bit as the band moves back into that dirty blues vibe that was introduced in “Take Me Back Again”. Jesse Baxter’s wife, Porcia Baxter, adds a female voice to this track that fits so perfectly it almost makes me wish it had been there throughout the previous seven songs. The waves of energy and volume throughout this song are genius and make it another favorite of mine from this album. Clearly, the waves of energy and volume exist throughout this album as a whole, not just individual tracks, and as the album moves from “Come Home” to “Not Dead Yet”, I was reminded of that. “Not Dead Yet” has a slow and deliberate sound to it that grows throughout the song but doesn’t hit the peak until far later than I had expected. That’s not a bad thing. It keeps you on your toes and remind you that, although a generic song would hit a peak with the first chorus, When We Land is not a generic band hence no generic songs. “No I’m not dead yet, I still have friends.” I mean, try not to fall in love with those lyrics.
Closing out this great album is the title track, “Introvert’s Plight”. As with any brilliant album, this song seems to take all of the elements laid out in the previous nine songs and mashes them together to create a song that is so distinctively When We Land’s. From the bluesy elements to a ballad like vibe to a classic indie-rock attitude, if I had to suggest one song for someone to check out from this band, it would be this one. Sure, it’s a bit slower than what I typically suggest but that slower and more deliberate tempo gives the listener a chance to catch every single element that this band has to offer.
Looking for a cozy soundtrack for one of those mornings where you just want to get stuff done around your house while sipping on some coffee and watching the seasons change through your window? Check out ‘Introvert’s Plight’ by When We Lande
My Favorite Track(s): “Take Me Back Again”; “Hi My Son”
Chances Of Getting A Noise Complaint While Listening To In An Apartment: 5.6 out of 10
For Fans Of: Waves of Sound; Indie Rock But Not The Generic Stuff; Motivation
Daydream-ability: 4.2 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artemis tried to get the foil off the quiche I just made; Autumn slept on the couch
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7.8 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 4.1 out of 5
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