It’s been three years since The Backseat Lovers freshman album, “When We Were Young”. In many ways, their first album was a compilation of songs rather than a complete, cohesive album. Each song was very good in its own right, but there wasn’t much flow between the tracks.
Their sophomore album released today after three years and three singles of waiting. “Waiting to Spill” is a complete project that flows consistently throughout, blending classic indie-rock with a variety of new sounds.
The quartet that makes up The Backseat Lovers includes Joshua Harmon on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Jonas Swanson on lead guitar and vocals, KJ Ward on bass guitar and Juice Welch on drums and backup vocals.
NC State students got the chance to see the Backseat Lovers live for free last year at Wolfstock 2022, which was an awesome experience. Even though they were playing for a crowd of a lot of people who didn’t know them, they put on an excellent performance.
A Bottle of Wine
“Waiting to Spill” centers itself around the challenges of facing time head-on and the desire to live in the past. I greatly appreciated that this theme is on display throughout the entirety of the ten-song record, shown in various lenses.
As The Backseat Lovers thematically focus on growing up and developing in their songs, their sound also develops into new grounds on this record. Staying rooted in indie-rock, The Backseat Lovers grows into areas such as country on “Snowbank Blues” or more piano-based songs on “Words I Used” and “Follow the Sound”.
Each member of The Backseat Lovers allow each other to shine in their performances. When one member pulls back, another one fills in the spotlight immediately. At moments where all four take the spotlight together, they create a truly incredible sound. The explosion of the soundscape at the end of the album in “Know Your Name” is extremely satisfying to listen to after 40 minutes of highs and lows.
I am somewhat split on the ending of this album. On one hand, I think “Know Your Name” would have been a very conclusive finisher that would have ended the album with a satisfying bang. On the other hand, “Viciously Lonely” ties the album together thematically in a very conclusive way.
While I probably won’t go back to the first or last track very much, I think they do help make the album feel more full and cohesive. It is a difficult task to find the perfect balance to create album cohesion and songs with a lot of replay value.
“Waiting to Spill” is an excellent record. While not as catchy as it’s predecessor, “Waiting to Spill” has a cohesion and depth that “When We Were Friends” never truly reached.
The Backseat Lovers has also grown in talent over these past three years, putting on an impressive display on all fronts. They incorporate a more complex vocal and instrumental performance to highlight the complexity they are attempting to reach.
The Backseat Lovers is currently touring across the United States and will start their European leg of the tour in 2023.
I greatly enjoyed this album and look forward to whatever work The Backseat Lovers ends up doing next.