Album Review: My Sober Daydream – Foamboy

My Sober Daydream, the debut album by Foamboy, is a succinct yet satisfying romp overflowing with danceable grooves and dazzlingly saturated soundscapes. The Portland-based duo, comprised of vocalist Katy Ohsiek and producer Wil Bakula, bring out a cavalcade of bright synth tones across the album whilst still finding time to lyrically tackle some prescient issues.

“Better” is a tone-setting opener, one that introduces the listener not only to the sonic themes of the album, but some of the lyrical ones too. The track sees Ohsiek almost willing herself to “just get better” and escape the rut that is keeping her in bed. “Read Your Mind” continues the momentum with beautiful arpeggiating synths providing a backdrop to Ohsiek’s pensive thoughts on the end of a relationship.

Ohsiek’s sincerity and openness on the lyrics of the album are a standout feature. Her honesty in dealing with personal issues quickly leaves an impression. On “Alien” for example, she delves into feelings of being disliked and out of place, remarking that she literally feels “like an alien.” Despite being the shortest song on the album at only just over one and a half minutes, it leaves an indelible mark on the album.  The following track “Logout” is much the same. Discussing feelings of literally wanting to disappear, “Logout” somehow becomes one of the catchiest songs in the band’s discography, whilst still touching on very real emotions.

Musically, the album is awash with slick, low-key instrumentals that layer synths over each other to create brilliant, textured electric soundscapes. On “Peach Smoothie”, the interplay between the lead keys and the atmospheric surrounding synths is addicting. Driven by a powerful rhythm, it deserves to be the longest track on the album as you feel as if the groove could go on forever. A major aspect of the album is just how catchy each song is. The chorus to cuts like “Hate Me Too” seems earmarked to stick in your mind. It reminds you of artists such as The Internet and Thundercat who’s fiendishly captivating hooks ensnare listeners.

Clocking in at 34 minutes, My Sober Daydream never overstays its welcome, and just like the slick grooves in its songs, thrive on their brevity. Even when a song does trespass beyond the 3-minute mark, it’s well deserved as you don’t wish for the instrumental to end. Managing to cover such a wide array of lyrical ground across its runtime whilst churning out addicting instrumentals to pair with, My Sober Daydream is as accomplished a debut album as you are likely to hear this year.

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