The pitch I got for Hello, I’m Sorry’s new album ‘Buddy’ is that it follows Seth (the vocalist) on an introspective journey of finding self-worth. Honestly, after the day I had today, that sounds like just the thing I need. So let’s not waste any time and jump into this brand new full-length album from Hello, I’m Sorry!
The title track, “Buddy”, kicks off this album with such a calming vibe that I was instantly in love. Although it starts off with a super powerful feeling, it’s followed up by a segment of pure bliss and spacey-ness before jumping back into the perfect bedroom pop vibe of the beginning. I was drawn in by this opening track for sure but was also so excited to see what else would come with the eleven other tracks.
“This Thing (Called Love)” starts off with such a simple, yet powerful phrase. “There’s magic in the mundane or so they say.” The lyrics go on to question that statement which is a statement I question often. Between the lyrics and the retro almost lo-fi-styled recording of this track, I’m definitely feeling like I’m on Seth’s journey of finding self-worth and, in turn, on my own. That journey takes a heartbreaking turn as “New Apartment” hit me with the line of “I spent a year waking up just wanting to go back to bed”. We all have those days but I feel like those are the days we never really talk about. I adore the fact that Hello, I’m Sorry is not afraid to bring that kind of day to the spotlight while combining it with a sense of comfort through the music that we all want on those days. What a stunning track.
The vibe of this album changes for “I Don’t Know You”. Although the previous tracks leaned more towards the lo-fi, bedroom pop scene, this track brings a more garage rock vibe to the album that I instantly loved. Between the lyrics, instrumentation, and emotion that comes forth in this track, it feels like the journey for self-worth seems to have hit a bit of a frustrating snag. Again, like the honesty in “New Apartment”, I fell head over heels for the sentiment and found myself lost in my head through the track. That frustration smooths as “Gifts of Parting Nature” takes over like a sense of clarity while staying completely mesmerizing. The vocals almost stay under the guitar part in this track which I’m sure is trying to say something about the journey but I was honestly just too lost in the beauty of this track to really analyze it.
“Old House” brings some whimsy into the picture while still staying oh so soft and sweet. It’s a bit more folksy than the previous tracks but still has a very retro vibe like that of “This Thing (Called Love)”. Seth’s vocals slide from word to word in a magical way while still making sure you hear every single word and all of its weight and power. The whimsy is kicked off a notch with the keyboard sound that kicks off “Apple Tree”. I really loved “Apple Tree” just because I feel like it brought a sense of freedom to it. Although a quick song, it packs a punch but a light-hearted punch. It’s not super heavy or super deep to me when it comes to the lyrics but they are just honest and blatant words about just hanging out with friends with nowhere to go and nothing to do. The simplicity of this track really struck me.
That lowkey garage-rock feeling I got during “I Don’t Know You” comes back into play for “Lucky” but it also brings a little bit of the optimism I felt in “Apple Tree”. Knowing that this album is about Seth’s journey to find self-worth, I found myself constantly trying to figure out where in the journey he was depending on the song style. “I Don’t Know You” had me feeling like he was at the point where he was starting to figure it out. There’s a hesitation in being too optimistic felt in this song but you know he’s getting there. It isn’t until the quick track, “Honey” hits that I feel like he may have hit his stride in his journey. This super simple and super quick track is just so sweet, simple, and full of life and love. Although I’m not personally there on my journey yet, I love hearing Seth hitting this point and it gives me hope.
There’s something a bit ambient about the instrumentation in “I Can Go Here (Anytime I Want)” which I found a sense of warmth in. It almost feels like an introspective in the middle of an introspective. You can almost feel the band traveling back to the previous tracks and touching on bits and pieces of them throughout this track. I love the culmination of it all but also loved how the warmth hit an all-time high with “Brother”. This feeling of looking back on the journey still reigns supreme on this track. The lyrics, “And I think I ought to spend some time alone” really says all that needs to be said about this beautiful track.
Unfortunately, all journeys must end and Hello, I’m Sorry’s journey ends with “Lake Placid”. Although I wanted something loud and dynamic to cap this album (and journey) off with a sense of optimism. This strange and unexpected instrumental track adds a sense of magic and intrigue to the end of this album in the perfect way. It just fades off as it begging you to continue on your journey or go on the “Buddy” journey again if you’d like.
Regardless of where you are on your journey of finding self-worth, ‘Buddy’ is the perfect album to keep in your back pocket just in case you get lost. The music and vocals don’t tell you where you should be or how to get there, they merely offer suggestions and shine some light on the fact that this is a complicated journey but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
My Favorite Track(s): “Apple Tree”
For Fans Of: Acoustic Lo-fi Bedroom Pop; Introspective Introspectives; Honesty
Daydream-ability: 7 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept on the back of the couch; Autumn went downstairs to the basement to do lord knows what
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 5.8 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 6.8 out of 10
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