I had a meeting at work yesterday afternoon. Before the meeting started, my boss looks at me and asks, “Adam, you okay?” Existential Crises aside, I figure I’m doing about as well as I could expect to. “I’m fine,” I assure him. “Oh, okay. You just looked upset is all.” No – I’m not upset. But all day I have been listening to Settle In, Decay by the Brooklyn-based band Good Looking Friends. And maybe listening to this album isn’t good for my depression, but if I took all my therapist’s advice I probably wouldn’t still be needing therapy. Settle In, Decay hurts so good and you should let it hurt you too.urprisin
This album is a surprisingly emotional journey. I had always believed good looking people to be much happier than this, but from the very first note of “After the Heat of the Day” I knew I had been mistaken. Still, as we know being sad isn’t exactly a talent, what Good Looking Friends does so well to separate themselves from the slew of basic sad boi bullshit is their varied approach and emotional depth of each track. “Front Porch” strikes a sentimental tone, longing for a past long gone but while still maintaining an upbeat, almost danceable swing, whereas “Vesper,” while consistent in focus, is a much more slow and melancholy track, until the anger and pain boils over in the final verse. This energy level carries through the heart of the album with “SOLD!” and “Birds,” creating a hard rocking high point before settling back in with “Southern Live Oaks,” wallowing in the chorus of “Unsteady ground, but still hanging around/ it’s an island cut out from a lake/ Making mistakes/ and calling too late.”
A band could not ask for a better result from their first full length attempt than Settle In, Decay. Top to bottom, this album is engaging and dynamic, worthy of not only the initial listen, but of several more after. Just be forewarned that if you listen too much, you should probably talk to someone about your feelings.
Adam gave man-birth to N.J. Racket and is as close to an "editor-in-chief" the site has. He's a god awful photographer.