We all are walking stories. Each one has many chapters of joy, hope, fears, grief, pain, and much more. We get the material to write it from others, from experiences, from observing, and from within us, and sometimes it just writes down itself and we get to read and enjoy. The indie rock project, Language Games have some stories to tell us through its mastered arrangements and emotive performances, in his EP, “Vignettes for a Sad.”
Language Games is the alter ego of Kurt Gottwald, a Prague-paced Asian and American artist who knows how to shuffle genres and tell stories like no one else. His sound mashes soft rock and dream pop together to result in sonic soundscapes that will take you to scenes where you don’t know whether they’re woven into the imagination or as real as your existence.
“Vignettes for a Sad Life” is the first EP, and it offers exactly what its title holds. The five tracks are like a blurry vision that is hard to erase. As if you’re watching a silhouette, you get sympathetic, and then realize you were the main character. The lyrical content won’t be a ray of sunshine, it’s bleak. On the other hand, you’ll get to enjoy raw, subtle vocal performances that give you darkness in a bright way and atmospheric instrumentation that slickly wins you over.
“Mr Ego” introduces the first story that is given by mellow guitar chords and gentle percussion. The vocal performance is delicate enough to make you feel it’s a love song, but it succeeds in taking you to the melancholic direction behind the tricky lyricism that gives you different angles to see through, as you could see the lead character as a victim of his own fiction, of a one-sided love, or he’s just a delusional narcissist.
A heart-felt intro opens “Bandit” and paves the way for a blue story that feels like it’s featuring a cold night colored with abandonment and straying. All of the elements carry a gloomy feel, yet somehow the track offers a serene effect. Is it the soulful vocals? The smooth, surreal melody? I guess how both meet gives a combination of a ghosty sense and a warm light that distracts these past ghosts.
You may haven’t seen yourself in the previous narrations, but it’s more likely that you will see it in “Killing Fields.” With its swingy rhythms and melodic vocals, you’ll feel like it’s killing you softly as you’re having a slow dance with your dark thoughts. It portrays what it’s like to have sameness days in a routine job where you’re running as fast as you can, only to find yourself in a wheel that you’re making move, but you? You’re standing still inside it. The dreamy instruments feel like they’re circling around each other and around the vocals, just as much as it feels like they’re circling in an endless void that lacks meaning.
“Symbiotic Love” has a tight, bright canvas that delivers a soothing lullaby through the ethereal musical composition and sentimental vocal line. Once again, the brilliant lyrical theme is written to let you decide the storyline. You’re longing for someone or something. It depends on the addiction that comes to your mind. If your head didn’t instantly conjure something or someone, the bittersweet vocals will make you feel like you’re missing something anyway.
Moving to “Xanax Holiday” to end the EP with expressing a numbed feeling through vital vibes. We usually say, “love is all we need,” but what the somber lyricism suggests is “Drugs is all we need,” and that’s how an unstable mind leans towards thinking. The vocals and instruments progress from tranquil-paced to fast-paced and then fade in slow motion, offering a sense of how emotions could be like a rollercoaster until you fall asleep. The chorus is anthemic, and how the guitars and drums sound sparkly and alive makes the theme stabbing less harmful.
You’ll enjoy it when you start to pay more attention to the tales everyone holds. You can begin this humane journey by listening to this EP, which has relatable stories and an extraordinary way of telling them.