Lost Weekend‘s debut self-titled release is an ambitious and concept-driven effort that offers their take on the life of the young, somewhat disenchanted city dweller. This is a concept that would not be too unfamiliar to fans of the band as they have been consistently exploring such ideas in their music and image since their early beginnings. In their debut full-length, the Singapore-based outfit successfully weave this narrative over the album’s ten tracks.
Album opener ‘Chips + Wine’ is our first introduction to this deliberate stylistic choice. Though it lasts for a brief 49 seconds, its inclusion as an album opener might seem perplexing unless one bother’s to listen to the entire album from start to finish. Unlike several other concept albums however, it is not essential to listen to the album in a strict, chronological order in order to fully appreciate Lost Weekend’s thought-provoking, almost confessional approach.
The band’s familiarity with indie rock touchstones from the 90’s is also apparent throughout the course of the album and considerably strengthened by vocalist Rachel’s ability to parallel the many iconic female musicians who made inroads into the industry within that particular decade. This, coupled with purposeful song-crafting from the rest of the band is a definite sign of accomplished musicianship.
On ‘About Forever’ for example, an upbeat bass line, muted finger snaps and resplendent guitar sweeps wrap the poetic lament about heartbreak and youthful regret with warmth and tenderness: “I was young and you were free/ Etching wooden hearts in the tree.” This continues until the bridge where the song breaks in what I’d term as relatable advice for the young soul: “And when indie bands teach you about love and responsibility / you better listen / you better listen.”
Another clear standout track is ‘After Midnight’ where gentle guitar picking complement the use of strings and harmonies brilliantly. The track reminds us of the beautifully tragic and glamorous world we live in and it’s almost a pity that the other tracks on the album – while undeniably still very good – didn’t quite follow the same vein.
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Overall, despite some variation, the album largely remains within the comfortable and safe territory of indie pop. Lost Weekend’s musical experimentation is unsurprising, but serves to add a degree of musical depth especially when the instrumental track doesn’t quite complement the theme or vocal melody.
Unfortunately if you consider the 90’s to be a nadir for music, Lost Weekend’s debut might lack sufficient earworms for it to be on heavy rotation for you. However if you were to approach the album with enough understanding of its context, it is guaranteed to bring you considerable satisfaction.
01. Chips + Wine
03. On A Sunday
04. What Do You Call It
05. Wild Ones
06. After Midnight
07. Red is the Colour
08. About Forever