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The Merrier ‘If We Fall Asleep Too Early’ EP Review

Today, Friday, April 28 2023, The Merrier released a new EP titled If We Fall Asleep Too Early.

The EP is being released via Lonely Ghost Records and is the band’s second EP, going along with a collection of singles. The Merrier is an audio engineer that often stays up late doing shows followed by editing podcasts once he’s home. He found himself saying the phrase “If I fall asleep too early” and following that with what the outcome would be. Falling asleep too early could f*ck up his schedule, cause him to miss work or be up too early the next morning. He also loves night and doesn’t want to sleep during his favorite part of the day, when the world is turned off. He took that anxiety and started using it to make music.

The EP keeps a traditional emo sound with emotion-intense vocals and lyrics. However, they’re taken a new spin by adding electronic instrumentation. Writer, recorder, and performer, Jake Stephens, The Merrier, refers to this unique style as “Dreamo.” Cleverly mixing the words dream and emo, this is the perfect description of his style. The music itself sounds dreamlike and is intended to make the listener feel a disconnect from reality. There is a heavy feeling of both dissociation and imagination that falls on the listener as they are connected with how much digital space is taken in our lives. Making music about this disconnect while also using it to create sound is charmingly ironic and does an excellent job at catching your attention.

The album has a different vocalist on each track including Equipment, exciting!!excellent!!, Hey ily, Superdestroyer and Analouge Heart. Each artist adds a different spin to the EP and aids in keeping the genre mix alive. Recording engineers, Nick Zander and Jake P, from Equipment used digital fuzz on the “Lightsleeper” guitar solo whereas Analouge Heart turns their voice into a computer in the title track. On top of that, the EP is kicked off with intense drums in “Scenery 2” by Jas from exciting!!excellent!!. The Merrier also never met up with any of the features throughout the making of the EP. This helps enhance the digital and disconnected feel that is intended.

The single “Lightsleeper” featuring Equipment was released on April 7 as a means of teasing the rest to come. The song will transport you back to early Warped Tour days as it conveys a midwestern pop punk feel. However, it introduces a refreshing techno sound as well. The Merrier describes it as “A song I came up with on a Twitter live space. I was listening to a lot of Algernon and pinkpantheress, and I wanted to mix that emo sound with something faster paced and digital. Nick (vocals, bass, guitar) and I both played bass and the tracks trade off a bunch in the song. Nick gave me some incredibly well-recorded tracks, including that sick ass guitar solo, recorded by Jake Pachasa. Randle Hoyle did the keys.”

Nick Zander, vocalist of Equipment, found that the song helped him get out of his comfort zone and do something different from his band’s typical work. “Working on this song was super fun.” Zander said. “I always try to make Equipment songs decently catchy without compromising the dissonance. Writing a speedy pop song felt like taking off the ankle weights and going for the hooks as much as possible, and it only took me an hour to finish. This song is about those weird periods in your life where you’re between relationships, probably flirting too much, probably dwelling on the past too much, and only using vices to fall asleep. It’s a pretty stream-of-consciousness song. I liked using Jake’s conflicted-sounding instrumental as a backdrop for these feelings, I think it all made sense. It was cool to play a guitar solo on an instrumental that wasn’t mine, too.” Needless to say the artists’ styles collided very well together. The topic is one that is relatable to the listener and can help one to feel validated in their feelings.

The Merrier has spent the past year learning how to balance his life using the digital spaces of the internet. He realizes how the internet emulates so many real life interactions and wanted to highlight that in the EP. In “Scenery 2,” the lyric “still telling that same old story” is repeated. This can be connected back to his ideas as the internet is always coming out with new things yet it feels like the same old, same old. The idea developed further as more guests helped work on the albums and added their perspectives and feelings. “We started turning real guitars into midi, then trying to get realistic sounds out of that midi, or just mixing it all up to get this chaotic but dreamy tone,” The Merrier told us.

The EP is surely worth a listen for enjoyers of all genres. Since it combines so many and each track has a new take there is sure to be a track you’ll connect to. If We Fall Asleep Too Early can be found where you listen to music.

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