by Margaret Banka
While the feeling of being left behind is not endemic to the modern age, there is a special brand of modern apprehension about one’s place in the world– perhaps the lovechild, if you will, of the pandemic and social media age. With limited physical interactions it is easy to get mired down by our lives. Suddenly, every trivial issue in our life makes it seem like all the problems in the world belong only to us. The grass has never looked greener, apparently.
With No More New Ideas Amos Nadlersmith of Amos the Kid departs from the comparatively lighthearted larking of his first EP to tackle a denser subject matter. The collection of somber lyrics is complimented by a shift in sound to a moodier guitar and growing bass presence which produce an overall heavier tone to the EP. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little change!
It’s exciting to hear Amos the Kid develop acoustically, and fans of his first EP Mountain View will certainly find breadcrumbs of it in No More New Ideas. While less boppy than his earlier release, the rhythms are indeed catchy and I was delighted to hear the vocal reunion of Nadlersmith and Jensen Fridfinsson yet again.
Far from being completely crestfallen, lyrics artfully present a realistic and neutral bitterness, a circling restlessness of insecurity and anxiety exemplified in “Alright” with lines such as “and my feet, they are moving in a sequence”. Or the exasperated smirk we hear repeated in the track “I Don’t Really Know Why”: “everybody will be walkin’ their dogs tonight”.
Moments of solace do shine through observational honesty. These songs represent a search for satisfaction rather than a search for change, as is apparent in “You Make It So Easy”. The point is, satisfaction is not always easy to find. While a bonfire at the park or time in the woods offer refuge from the eroding grind of everyday worries, “September Song” hints that even a cherished retreat is not immune to being overshadowed by heaviness. At a glance No More New Ideas can lean towards being cheerless, but it’s not so much about rain as it is about chasing sunlight through the clouds.