Review: It Looks Sad., “It Looks Sad.”

Posted 3 years ago by Joel Funk

It Looks Sad. (previously It Looks Sad, That’s Why I Said It’s You) is an Emo/Pop band from North Carolina. Line up changes and a much needed shortening in monicker have come paired with a much leaner, more direct song delivery that shows you just how much power and promise these four guys have behind them.

On their self-titled release (which you can stream here), It Looks Sad. blends together everything we’ve come to love about emo with the very best of dreamy, 80’s inspired pop. You’ve got a mid-range, melancholy vocal over music that would have felt right at home on the soundtrack to The Wedding Singer, and it keeps pulling you back in for more.

The EP starts off with “Radical”, a track that lives up to it’s namesake. I can’t speak from first hand experience, and realistically this is based solely on 80’s movie soundtracks, but this is a song that I feel would be played at just about every middle school dance in the later half of that decade. This is me actively asking the people in charge of The Goldberg’s to throw this song into an episode and see if anybody notices.

I listen to this release at least three times a day, so I have no problem telling you that “Fingers” is my favorite of the four songs. Lyrically, this song is one of the most beautifully written love letters. There is beauty in subtlety and It Looks Sad. has mastered that. This is one of the most straightforward pop songs on the record, and if given a proper listen could catapult It Looks Sad. into the same league as radio sweethearts like Fun. and Bleachers.

Speaking of Bleachers, “Raccoon” is a song that would feel right at home amongst their debut record that came out not too long ago. The vocal effects give the delivery a more indie-rock feel than we’ve heard from these guys so far, and the music has a very cool feeling of pop chaos to it. There are elements of the song that are very straightforward pop music, but there are moments where everything picks up and you’ve got a very brief chaotic feeling. Like it could all come crashing down, or it could pick up even further. Brilliant edge of your seat musicianship that is going to keep you invested.

Ocean” is the final track on this effort, and it’s without question one of the strongest of the four tracks. This is one of the most indie-rock feeling tracks as a whole on the release. Everything works together to create that aesthetic in this track. At about the two minute mark, the track becomes an incredibly cathartic questioning of the relationship they’ve been talking about for the entirety of the EP. The song ends with a very gritty repetition of the line “I am your ocean” and when it hits, you’ll feel it.

Ending on such a strong note was such a great move by It Looks Sad. Personally, i know that I can’t wait for another release from these guys (fingers crossed the next one is a full length). These four songs are perfect, and work as the best introduction to a band I’ve seen in a while.

Tiny Engines has done it again. There is literally not a band on this label that hasn’t blown me away this year.