Insignificant Other's latest album is an ode to the modern relationship.
Warning: this album will make you remember every softly aching heartbreak you’ve ever felt and every unrequited crush you regret becoming so dedicated to nurturing. As you likely did in those situations, please proceed with reckless abandon. Simona Morales, a singer-songwriter based out of Gainesville, Florida, is the beating heart behind the queer bedroom dream pop project that is Insignificant Other. You might recall reading about their charming split with Alumine just a few weeks ago. Their newest release, candid hour with sim (not another iPhone demo), is a collection of odes to the type of modern relationship that we all know and hate to love.
Morales, in a style reminiscent of Kimya Dawson, sings with tenderness and heartbreaking honesty about the throes of undefined relationships, loving girls who will “never see me that way,” and the pain of having an addictive personality. In a generation where the interpretation of emojis can make up 90% of a relationship, Morales’s dreamy lullabies feel almost a little too on point – see: track 4, “eggplant emoji (my nails were too long when i recorded this).” What's particularly refreshing about this album is the candid portrayal of that desperation and ambiguity that comes with being in love – or in anything – these days. Singing, “If you won’t be my lover can I still call you mine? / If you won’t be my lover, can I still call you sometime?” on the opening track, “acrylic nails,” Morales captures the inherent loneliness of all those not-quite-a-relationship relationships that virtually define the condition of being in your twenties.
The melancholic sweetness of the piano and xylophone makes a number of these tracks all the more striking in their lo-fi realness. Morales delicately captures the dichotomy between wanting to throw oneself into a new relationship and not wanting to commit to a brief fling in lines like, “I went too far to say I loved you when I never knew you at all” from “arm’s length,” and “I want to be a number in your phone that’s not saved under a name” from “4get me when u get home.” Most of all, however, this is an album about the tenderness and intimacy of queer love “in a world that’s been ugly to [it].” It’s about the ache of knowing you could take a girl on a real date if only she could see she’s too good for those “art school boys.” It’s about having a bad habit of getting addicted to people and knowing it might always be the “right person at the wrong time." It's about wanting so severely to care for someone and to be cared for in return. These songs will get to you in the same fundamental way that watching a teen love drama does – plucking your heartstrings right where it hurts, mostly because you know everything they’re saying is true.
Listen to Insignificant Other on bandcamp.
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Anna Dottle is an ambitiously unemployed someday-archaeologist currently living in Washington, D.C. She self-identifies as a person with Big Hands and a favourite hat store. Find her on twitter as @uteranlining, or in the future as a children’s book author.