For an indie band from Pittsburgh, Instead of Sleeping definitely has the creative flair and an undeniable spark that is apparent in every single song in their newest release, Young Lungs. Funded completely by Kickstarter, this album is a living example of the power that hardcore fans can have on kickstarting someone’s career (see what I did there? eh, eh).
Instead of Sleeping’s album sounds like old-school Panic! At The Disco paired with slightly Cartel-esque vocals with a hint of Owl City‘s instrumentation style. Each song has a different feel to the them – whether it be from the way it sounds or the thematic elements of it – and it’s a shame that it’s showcased in only eight songs. Frontman Shaun Sweeney succeeds in turning each track into one that has the ability to stand completely on its own without having to play off of the song before it.
The atmospheric and entrancing “Volatile” starts us off and ignites flame with repeated lines, “I am the match/you’re the gasoline…I know it’s not worthwhile/ but I crave the volatile.” Pianos are paired with mesmerizing guitars in “Insatiable” while “The Ones” convinces the listener to lose themselves in the semi-electronic music. “Tired Tigers” embodies what every guy feels when watching their ex or chick-friend or sister date someone who is completely wrong for them. Oh, they even throw in their version of a love song – “Speak Into Me.” The album ends with “Ammo” an echoing and emotional acoustic track about fighting with your significant other, but putting the problems aside eventually because you love them.
While all of the songs are musically stimulating, “Merlot” and “South Side Girls”, two very different songs both instrumentally and lyrically, are definitely noteworthy tracks. “Merlot” is seductive and dark and makes you picture stealing a romantic moment in a dark hallway of a fancy party. Its chorus consisting of “ay oh, ay oh/ay oh, na na na na na/keep tight but don’t lose your footing/stage fright but only I’m looking” is simple yet sultry and harbors the makings of a sexy bedroom song.
“South Side Girls” is totally the story of my life right now (jk, a girl can dream right?). It tricks you by starting off slower, but then goes into peppy Walk The Moon “Anna Sun” status. Sweeney chronicles the story of a young 22-year-old who is quite bored with life and is looking for something more. Its chorus of “a night with her is never boring/I let her slip out in the morning…” shows that he is more than willing to be her booty call due to some underlying feelings and will pretty much wait until she takes him out of the friend-zone (Yes, guys can be friend-zoned just as easily as girls can).
Young Lungs is one of those hidden indie gems that should definitely be on the shelves of every hipster in America (it’s ok if you’re not). They’ve got a moxie that has the ability to catapult them to stardom and their dedicated fans have already shown that. Instead of Sleeping performs each track as if it were simply made for both a lounge setting and a large crowd in an arena and, to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if big things happen for them in the near future. Young Lungs is a work of musical genius from start to finish.