As emo enters its indeterminate wave in 2022, bands in the genre have to make themselves stand out, whether through their live presence, social media presence, or, most importantly, in the music. This is no difficult feat for Good Sleepy, who have gained considerable popularity in the 2020s so far. The Massachusetts emo-quartet have had a steady release flow over the past few years, with their album everysinglelittlebit dropping in 2021, and various other singles, and acoustic renditions of their songs, since. Now, Good Sleepy are ready to hit the scene again with the release of i better start dreaming, Vol. 1 on October 21st.
This short EP includes their previous single, “Make Pretend,” featuring L St. Germain, and an acoustic rendition of “the dark,” off everysinglelittlebit. Vol. 1 also features two new singles, “Losing Light” and “See Through,” and acoustic versions of “childlike” and “sun aside.” While only a short collection of singles and acoustics, Vol. 1 is still a balanced release, complete with catchy hooks, and just the right amount of angst, on top of some beloved Good Sleepy songs reimagined.
Good Sleepy are deceptively raucous and gritty, yet delightfully soulful—like a controlled flame. “Losing Light,” for example, starts off quiet before quickly erupting into crashing drums and a buzzing lead guitar. “Make Pretend” is a, fittingly, dreamy single, alternating between twinkling vocals from L St. Germain, edgier instrumentation, and concluding with a mellow breakdown before picking up the tempo at the very end. “See Through” rounds out the first half of the EP, ending on a hopeful note and complimented by a powerful, cathartic sound. The acoustic half of Vol. 1 adds a new dimension to the already melancholic lyrics, and fits soundly next to the more conventional singles.
As titles like “Make Pretend” and “See Through” may suggest, i better start dreaming takes a look at the importance of transparency, both with oneself and others, and facing inner turmoil. It is easy to put up a facade to “protect” oneself, or those around them, from ugly truths, but the consequences are exhausting. Ideally, one does not “wanna pretend,” as “Make Pretend” loudly proclaims, but more often than not, they will “smile through this catastrophe / or all of this anxiety.” It is an honest look at mental health and healing, and how it’s not usually projected as one polar extreme or the other.
i better start dreaming, Vol. 1 may be short, but it is concise in its theming and sonic intentions. Listeners can only infer that more music from Good Sleepy awaits, according to the EP’s title, but Vol. 1 contains more than enough to tide over until then.