Hindsight 20/20 Review

Christian Haakmeester, Staff Writer and Cool Guy

If you love to listen to music as I do, then you’re always on the lookout for some new sounds to jam out to. A big up-and-coming artist who’s tremendous talent in songwriting and performing makes her a standout amongst new alt/indie artists, Upsahl is valuable and fierce, and she knows it. After recently releasing her debut EP (Extended Play) Hindsight 20/20, she’s proving to be a formidable force capable of delivering hit after hit. If you’re not doing anything right now, you should go listen to it.

The first track on Hindsight 20/20 is All My Friends Are Rich, a lighthearted track that begins with a bouncy keyboard progression into a verse describing Upsahl’s struggle to maintain the appearance of wealth. Following this, an electronic beat starts a complimentary bassline transitions into the chorus, which is a continuation of the fun feel of the song. The hi-hat-heavy beat and the soothing bassline continue throughout the song, eventually closing with Upsahl asking the audience where she’s gonna get the wealth to compete with her friend’s rich lifestyles.

The second song on the EP is Stressed, and immediately we are treated to an intense horn melody that establishes the sassy tone of the song along while punctuating drama. This song has a simple beat to keep time while Upsahl sings about her distressed state of perpetual stress. This is the most experimental track on the EP, with the use of horns in an electronic setting and a final chorus sung partially with effects on the vocals. The bridge of this song is my personal favorite part because, in it, Upsahl shows off her vocal talent and by taking her vocals much higher than normal.

The next song is called Drugs, and while the title is suggestive, the song is actually about how people keep up a facade of success in order to impress people at parties when in actuality most of the people in attendance are there in pursuit of hedonistic pleasures, not for the people. Musically, this is one of my two favorite songs on the EP. Starting with a simple call-and-response melody on guitar behind lyrics that get straight to the point about why she’s at the party. This contrast between the deceptive and the straightforward is accentuated by a flashy beat that proves to be incredibly fun to dance to. The thoughtfulness and fun of the song make it a unique listen.

Next, the track SMARTY is written for all the boys who have tried to take advantage of Upsahl, and how despite their desperation she can see through their manipulative methods of courtship. This tune sounds tamer but keeps a solid electronic sound that paints a relaxed but present backdrop while her calm voice takes us through her experience with deceptive boys.

Michael Macsuga

The final track on the EP is completely different from the rest of the EP in how it sounds. Played mostly on a piano, Fine is an apology to someone she lost through selfishness. Fine immediately stands alone as the most somber song on the EP. The instruments used in this piece are simplified to a piano,a tasteful bit of bass, some percussive sounds, and Upsahl’s voice. With the simplification of the instrumentation, Upsahl’s is given the opportunity to prove to listeners that she has the vocal talent to convey emotion in a way that very few artists can. This song feels like a lullaby that perfectly puts the word regret into music, and because of that it is another one of my favorites. And to finish, she gracefully wishes her lost companion well, finishing the EP on a moral high note.

As her first release of multiple songs at the same time, Hindsight 20/20 is a thoughtful and fun commentary on several issues seen in social situations, such as everyday deception or the constant secret comparisons that we as a society make with one another. And sonically, the EP is electric, driven, and wonderfully composed to make every song a good time to listen to. If you are into indie/alt music, Hindsight 20/20 will not disappoint. Go listen to it.