If you were to place Vampire Weekend, Reptar and Beck in a proverbial musical blender with a heavy side dose of witty banter, you would render Speelburg — a true visionary of indie rock’s future. After his surge into the musical scene in 2014, Speelburg has racked up accolades for his music and over 11 million digital streams although never releasing a full-length all his own… well, until now.
The concept of relationship fallout echoes through ‘Porsche’: a ripple effect of questioning self-assessment that can never be fully comprehended.
Several items follow any ended relationship and it all depends on the person walking away from it. Does this person grasp why it’s come to a conclusion? Is there anger… sadness… disillusionment… understanding… resentment… contentment? The full spectrum of human emotion kicks in upon exile of anything, let alone from another person we loved and trusted. Speelburg taps into this range from start to finish in Porsche — a clear attempt at healing. The album begins with “Everything I Know”, a bubbly pop anthem about not having all the answers and featuring friend Cautious Clay on saxophone. Millennials are encouraged to be reckless: it’s okay to change your name to “something more exotic” and travel the world from “Paris” to “Barcelona”, even if you need to call in a financial bailout from dad as you go. Of course, this reckless behavior filters into our personal relationships. If we always think the grass is greener, if we always think we will have others fighting our battles when the going gets rough, how will we ever maintain a close personal connection beyond surface value? We’re the generation of doomed dependence.
But, it’s not all bad. Speelburg spins on with upbeat optimism in “Gwyneth (Get Up!)” — the lead single off the album. A dance pop track at its finest, “Gwyneth (Get Up!)” is all about putting yourself back together, with lyrics like “you’re looking for someone else” although I know “I’m everything I need”. Meant to capture the attention of Paltrow herself, the song’s 80s-inspired video coincides with the album’s release. From there, Speelburg fastens to lament in “Life In Between” (a blues rock song reminiscent of The Black Keys) and confidence in “Lay It Right” (a poppy indie rock song with upbeat horns). Yet, having too much confidence will backfire and Speelburg knows it. The second lead single off the LP, “Crash & Burn”, fuses a hip hop/funk/indie rock vibe that you find most often in Beck’s discography. From being a radio winner to a movie maker, having an inflated ego can only lead to crashing and burning.
“Have you had enough?” Speelburg repeats at the end. Not quite yet, I’m afraid.
Speelburg continues on with the concept of unrequited love in “When You Want Me”. If relationships are two-way roads, make sure both lanes are of equal size. And, it’s hard to focus on your own issues when the world at large is going through a break-up. “World Is Falling Apart — this version” proffers a tribal beat, allowing basic human tradition to come into play. We all know the earth is at a crossroads, from climate change to civil rights to corrupt politicians, yet we standby idly. If this is the end, the solution is clear: “stay where you are”, don’t do anything and just apologize to each other about it. Obviously, this lack of action can be applied on a smaller scale to a love connection gone south. The next few tracks “Stay On The Ground” and “Can’t Get Even” are about emotional triggers and miscommunication; how can you grow with someone when everything’s a competition? “Entertaining The Notions” is a psychedelic rock reckoning of the mind — a raw reflection of one’s self. Where do all the puzzle pieces fit to fix this… to fix me… to fix us? Speelburg doesn’t have all the answers. Instead, he is stuck in relationship limbo, in self-indulgent behavior knowing full well the inevitable consequences. Thus, he concludes Porsche with “Kline”, a song on accepting those “dead and gone”. Good thing singing the blues works so well for him.
Speelburg’s Porsche album is now available on all digital outlets and for sale as a physical disc. As mentioned previously, the video for “Gwyneth (Get Up!)” directed by Marin Jones is also out now, as well as Speelburg’s a daily video quest to capture the attention of movie star Gwyneth Paltrow. Follow his social crusade via the Twitter and Instagram links below!
Purchase or stream ‘ Porsche’ album:
- Everything I Know
- Gwyneth (Get Up!)
- Life In Between
- Lay It Right
- Crash & Burn
- When You Want Me
- World Is Falling Apart – this version
- Stay On The Ground
- Can’t Get Even
- Entertaining The Notions
Speelburg – “Gwyneth (Get Up)” official video:
Cover photo by Alline Beatrici
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.