ALBUM REVIEW: Sydney Sprague – ‘maybe i will see you at the end of the world’


Words by Kate Lockyer {Kate Lockyer Music}


Sydney Sprague is about to drop her debut album ‘maybe i will see you at the end of the world’ on Feb 26, a gritty release that captures Sprague’s musical influences as well as her own captivating flair. The 28-year-old American singer/songwriter from Phoenix, Arizona has created an album complete with apocalyptic paintings.

i refuse to die starts the album off powerfully, with crashing guitar and piercing distortion. It’s a tune awash with steely resolve, in turns vulnerable and resilient. The song leaves you with the words “come too far to just get stuck, so I refuse to die”.


The next track, object permanence, begins with a jangly electric guitar arpeggio before Sprague’s melting-moment vocals trickle in. A clever play on words, object permanence is about niggling doubt about how someone feels if they’re not around – “If I can’t see it, is it obvious?”. The chorus twirls around overlapping lyrics, and it feels like the clamour of a mind that is busy overthinking.

steve starts with energetic guitar, Sprague’s emphatic breakup song a complete jam from the start. Her words are tasty – literally. “You had my heart / You ate it like a peach in the summer” The chorus is driven by a combination of sentimentality and frustration, with a punchy melody making it deviously catchy.


The next track is markedly gentler, with softly-strummed guitar and a simple, two-note riff over the top. you have to stop is a sigh at the end of a long day, another appeal to someone to stop – “you do this every time”. quitter is a similarly downtempo song, about wanting to go back to what you had before. “If I loved you again / Could you love me better? / Wrap me up like your favourite sweater / One more time.”

TRACK LISTING

  1. i refuse to die
  2. object permanence
  3. steve
  4. you have to stop
  5. quitter
  6. staircase failure
  7. wrongo
  8. what u want
  9. time is gone
  10. end of the world

staircase failure brings back Sprague’s characteristic gritty sound, with the turmoil of falling for someone she maybe shouldn’t pulling all of her agitation back into her music. Distortion mixes with the grungy tones of Sprague’s voice, like a gemstone unearthed from a coal mine.

wrongo peels off Sprague’s more defiant layers, to reveal a well-hidden tenderness. “I might be wrong a lot / You’re the one thing that is not”, she coos in angelic whispers. Brightly-timbred guitar echoes the melody of the chorus, creating a tightly-woven track.

The next song on the album, what u want, is about doing anything to keep someone around, a softly-spoken promise. Like the rest of her songs, it is easy to sing along to, “Tell me what you want / I could be your flavour / I’ll give it a try”.

time is gone picks up the whole apocalyptic theme again slightly, with Sprague singing “I will be so happy when / time is gone”. Sounds reminiscent of the SFX from 80s alien movies add to the very cool ‘end of the world’ theme. The last track, end of the world, is about missing someone, and thinking about when you’ll see them again. In Sprague’s case, she thinks that moment will be at the end of the world. It’s a dreamy, delightful soundscape full of wistful lyrics like “Can you die from over-empathy?”

‘maybe i will see you at the end of the world’ is a clever, creative debut from Sydney Sprague, with plenty of heart and a good dose of existentialism. Sprague has said that this album was a massive milestone. “Maybe i will see you at the end of the world is my bucket list all checked off. It was my life goal to make this album at this studio with these people, and now that it’s done, and in your hands/ears – I can breathe easy. Thank you for listening.”

To pre order your copy – out feb. 26th on Rude Records, go here www.sydneysprague.com

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With thanks to Habit Music Co.

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