album: Make A Living Making Time - Lonely Vacations
words: Cheyenne Bilderback
Burnout is a prevalent mode these days, perhaps more than ever, deeply encouraged by our cultural expectations (and late-stage capitalism). Making a Living Making Time is a complete ten-track LP from the raucous Nashville indie-pop band Lonely Vacations dedicated to the utterly consuming state of rendering yourself completely useless.
Vocalist and lyricist Baily Smith writes from the college perspective: the verge of the rest of your life and yet, simultaneously looking back. An anxiety is borne of this in-between, but the album doesn’t just culminate from anxiety: it speaks to an exhaustion caused by constant anxiety.
“I have been tired since the day I was born,” sings Smith on “(Maybe Heaven is a) Warm Bed.” The track is just one of the odes to exhaustion. “Body” is a song devoted to physical hindrances of a human body. On “Sick and Tired,” the lines “I am running out of money/ I’m oh so terrified about my future” break out through the distortion.
And it’s not just physical burnout - the album covers emotional and mental burnout too. “Boys Club” is perhaps Smith at her most angry on the record. She’s tired of your narrative and wants you to know it. “Whatever story you’ve made up in your head please write me out of it,” she sings.
Despite the seemingly gloomy themes, many of the tracks are punchy and fun. Lonely Vacations is fond of playing with dynamics, often moving from soft, sincere verses to loud, fervent hooks. Smith’s tone and lyrics are idiosyncratic, recalling the likes of Lady Lamb.
Ultimately, Making a Living Making Time suggests that even if you’re at your breaking point, you can still dance. You can still scream. You can still sing. You will make it through.