The Day – ‘The Kids Are Alright’

Melding dream-pop and rock with consistent entrancement, The Kids Are Alright is the second album from The Day. The duo comprises vocalist Laura Loeters and instrumentalist Gregor Sonnenberg, based in Antwerp and Hamburg, respectively. Loneliness and its impacts are a theme throughout, deriving from the pandemic’s effect, in addition to Loeters’ move to Antwerp, which prompted isolation and a struggle to build a social network. These personal experiences lead into hopeful calls for action, especially in light of other thematic pursuits — ranging from advocating for youth and the future to bemoaning the harmful impacts of climate change denial.

“98” opens the album with a lush yet emotive enthrallment. The initial lyrics ask “what did I know?” upon reflections of childhood, aptly commencing one’s personal journey with the album’s in-motion navigation. Glistening guitars combine with a lush, wandering vocal suggestion, as airy synth infusions add to the chilly immersion. “Nemesis” follows with a more bustling rock arsenal while maintaining a dreamy glow — aesthetically exuding a fond likeness to TOPS and Wild Nothing. The jangling, crisp guitar tones arise gorgeously alongside Loeters’ confident, hooky vocal presence.

Another standout, “Tenderfoot,” enamors with its comfortably warm guitar hypnotics and serene vocal introspection. The track’s creation arose around the start of the album’s process when the band found themselves in a bit of a rut. They decided to create some cover songs of their previous releases, with this fantastic interpretation of their 2020 single of the same name showing excellently. “June” follows it up with a delicate assortment of mellow guitars and pit-pattering percussion, again conjuring visions of youth and childhood amidst a “throwing rocks into the sea” sense of carefree bliss — and an adulthood yearning for it, especially when the world has seemingly fallen apart in the face of a pandemic and ensuing loneliness.

A heavier, textured rock production invigorates on “Hide.” “Because we didn’t know the answer, but we did know how to hide,” Loeters sings, bringing in poignant societal observations where lies and deception run amok. The sturdy rock arsenal and calmingly insightful vocal prowess remind enjoyably of Wolf Alice, aesthetically, and represents another strong track on an album full of many thrillers. The Kids Are Alright is a thorough success from The Day, whose combination of societally poignant lyricism and dreamy rock productions succeed throughout.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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