Delayed, but never late, Sydney Sprague’s album maybe i will see you at the end of the world was worth the year long wait as she signed to Rude Records in 2020 after being independent for some time. From there, her breathy, rock n’ roll catharsis “steve” made it to NPR, a humble brag not many get off their first record, let alone the first single. A seemingly tenacious view of her record, the track was just the beginning of a well-rounded release. Sprague has channeled the woes of modern society into sweet croons of delicate indie prowess.
A Phoenix, Arizona native, the sounds of cowboy twang weave into the strings and reverb played by Sprague who has a natural ability to harmonize alongside her Americana, indie-rock chops. She followed up her first EP, Dark Cloud, with Bad Patchwork released under 80/20 Records in 2019; lesser known projects exclusive to Bandcamp. Unpretentious and ubiquitous, maybe i will see you at the end of the world fits into any box, but thrives on the authenticity of being individualistic, much like Phoebe Bridgers, Hayley Williams, Kacey Musgraves and Julien Baker. An ode to “millenial romance” and “anxiety-induced impending apocalypse” as Sprague puts it, the record fits on any nostalgia soaked shelf where blissful youth can thrive even for a few moments.
Maybe i will see you at the end of the world is a collection of restrained heartache and unrequited love in four minutes or less. Each track tugs differently as the familiar sound of amplifier feedback and poised notes with a purpose on every song. The acoustic bellows and echo from Sprague on “wrong”, “what u want” and “you have to stop” are the champions of the record with finger picking and dreamy piano putting Sprague in the same orbit as the quintessential sad girls of modern music. Sprague’s vocal fry, long coos and high notes are enigmatic and consuming; a playful blend of darkness and light in “time is gone” and “quitter”.
The 2000’s nostalgia finds its way into maybe i will see you at the end of the world in “object permanence” and “steve” with lively hooks and Sprague’s love for feedback. The bedroom dance champions of the album make quarantine a little less lonely. Crushing hard at the mall in the middle of summer, “steve” is a calculated single about one-sided, teenage love. The album was recorded with producer/engineer Sam Rosson at The Hall of Justice In Seattle, Washington, an indie-rock institution where Nirvana made bleach and Death Cab for Cutie made the majority of their catalog, and mixed by Mike Pepe (Taking Back Sunday, Silverstein) at Barefoot Recordings. A fitting space for Sprague who bleeds witty, “angry girl music of the indie rock persuasion” vibes. A behemoth debut record from a Texas songbird who has been steadily underground is here to remind you of all of the messy and naive things we do in the throws of love.