The Comfort – What It Is To Be


Artist

Album

What It Is To Be

Label

Greyscale Records

Year

2018

For Fans Of

Emarosa, Makari, MCR.

Summary

Melancholic, yet utterly optimistic.

Rating

75 / 100

For me, Reddit is a fantastic place to explore and discover a wealth of new music across a variety of subgenres and their respective subreddits. YouTube and Bandcamp are great, but I highly suggest anyone reading to also use Reddit to find new bands and artists if you don’t already. Without it, I wouldn’t have found many of the bands that I currently listen to today, and that includes, more recently, The Comfort. I was completely oblivious to the existence of The Comfort from Brisbane, Australia until I stumbled across one of their new singles, ‘Dissolve‘, on The Front Page Of The Internet, AKA Reddit. Taken from their new debut full-length, ‘What It Is To Be‘, I was instantly hooked; super eager to hear this album in its beautiful fullness. After having a good amount of time to familiarize myself with said new record, I can say that I have zero regrets clicking on that first single without any prior knowledge or expectations on what I was getting myself into.

Since standing right before this album’s pearly gates with the opener, ‘Heavy Heart‘, I knew this was going to be a deeply profound and emotional listen given the lyrical content and the atmosphere crafted. This first song – along with many tracks here – consists of nothing but pure honesty and self-revelation throughout the poetic and forthright words offered. The Comfort is letting everything out about themselves into the world with zero shame in the ten pieces that make up ‘What It Is To Be‘. Although it might be a difficult listen to get through for some out there, as many of the lyrics are scarily relatable in the saddest of ways, the actual overall tone of this album is quite uplifting. There are plenty of moments sprinkled throughout the record that creates a real feeling of sonder; of thinking “I’ve totally felt that before”; a comforting reminder you that you aren’t alone in this world experiencing the good and the bad of everyday life. It reminds you that everyone is living a life as complex as their own. The Comfort reminds listeners that it’s perfectly okay to feel what you are feeling about your day, life, or existence as a whole. After all, it’s often just a bad day, not a bad life.

One of the standout lyrics that really struck me was from ‘Solus‘; “Maybe I’ll fall asleep at the wheel and not feel a thing”. The way this specific line is sung by Dom Harper is so powerful to me. As it’s almost so emotionless in delivery that it feels like a routine; a constant thought that lingers in his mind more often than not and has now become apart of his very being. The Comfort aren’t acting like some kind of authority on these topics, merely offering their own mature and travelled experiences so that others can maybe find understanding and clarity within their heartfelt musical expression. Even I myself have had those exact same thoughts skip across my mind on countless occasions, and I’m absolutely sure I’m not the only one either. This is really where ‘What It Is To Be‘ succeeds; pulling you right through the lows and the highs of everyday life and our existence upon this sad, floating blue rock that we call home.

The music itself on The Comfort’s new LP is quite uplifting and ethereal in tone and atmosphere. Although, at face value, it sounds and feels quite dark and depressing too. Yet the vocal deliveries tread a line between spoken word and soft singing, nicely fitting with how the remaining, spacious arrangements suit these vocals. For me, the true vocal highlight on the album includes ‘Breathe‘, in which the singing becomes very reminiscent of Gerard Way’s style from My Chemical Romance; the vocals having the right amount of sass, inflection, and angst to them.

For the most part, many of these ten songs bleed into the next, which makes the LP feel much than just a group of songs, but rather a collection of stories about the human experience. The delay-heavy lead guitar parts tend to fall away into the background, but not in a bad way. The elegant and soothing leads from guitarist Marcus Parente help the listener float away from reality atop a soft cloud, heading into a realm of deep self-reflection. There are also plenty of slower moments in which bass and piano, in addition to some electronics, blend together to distract you from whatever is causing mental anguish at the time of your listening. It’s honestly like audible herbal tea for your soul. Aside from the guitars, all elements of the rhythm section – bassist/singer Dom Harper and drummer Izaac Calrow – are mixed very evenly so that every note from either instrument are clearly presented in the album’s crystal clear mix, allowing precise performances to cut through hard throughout the entire record. ‘Heavy Heart‘, ‘Misery‘, ‘Breathe‘ and ‘Dissolve‘ are easily the best tracks with the strongest, most infectious choruses that show-off the vocal prowess that vocalists Liam Holmes and Dom are capable of; by themselves and in tandem.

The lyrical content here really connected with me. I truly appreciate when artists are not afraid to show their true colours and pour their hearts out to the world. As it only wants to make me do the same and be more honest with myself and with those closest to me. After listening heavily, while I cannot deny that the music here is gorgeous, soothing and emotional, every song tends to follow the same structure. Which sadly makes this album an incredibly predictable listen the longer that it goes on. Where a certain level of dynamic is lost, thus not allowing each song to feel like its own in some respects; softening the record’s impact well before the end arrives. The overall sound and spirit of this record is rewarding and satisfying, yet there were rarely any musical moments that completely wowed me. Despite these caveats, the resonating lyrics, lush timbres, and heavenly atmospheres that are so well-executed here are what really brought me back to ‘What It Is To Be‘.

Conclusion

‘What It Is To Be is’ an album that powerfully conveys the complexities of our own existence and what it means to be human. It takes you on an emotional, hazy journey more so than a purely musical one. Although the lyrical content is more on the poignant side of positive throughout, there are moments of budding optimism and closer hidden amongst these mostly depressive lyrics. The lyricism is clearly the highlight, as records as genuine and as downright honest as The Comfort’s latest are not so easily found. The instrumentation creates a starry-eyed, ethereal atmosphere that is truly pleasant and engaging. Yet the lack of variation amongst these ten songs, unfortunately, makes matters extremely predictable before the halfway point, leaving very few surprises along the way.

Tracklisting

Heavy Heart
Dissolve
Misery
Reach Out
Futures
Always Tired
Die Alone
Solus
Breathe
Sanctuary (La Búsqueda Del Espíritu)

‘What It Is To Be’ is out Friday, November 9th via Greyscale Records.

Leave a Reply

You must be registered and logged in to comment on this post.