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Track by Track: The Losing Score – “Learn to Let Go”

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As a site that champions bands like Prince Daddy, Origami Angel, Worst Party Ever, etc., The Losing Score’s debut album Learn to let go looks like it was custom made for the top The alternativeThe year-end roster of 2022. It has the same emo-punk sensibilities these bands made their careers on, with a softer, janglier slant. It’s now out on Counter Intuitive Records, and it’s a perfect entry into that label’s catalog. Singer/guitarist Brodie Normandin broke down the eleven songs on Learn to let go, shedding light on what went into putting the LP together. Read that below and be sure to listen to it while you do.


Maybe if I try hard enough

I think it’s hard to hide it, but the album opener is definitely an ode to 90s Weezer. Originally written in 2018 as a potential B-side to our debut EP I’m still waiting for things to get better, this track has gone through a lot of changes since it was first written. I originally wrote this as a silly, fun love song in the same vein as blink-182’s “Josie”, with notes of cheshire cat humor that makes me shiver looking back. I recently found the original lyrics on my old laptop and they should have stayed there! Along with the key, I changed about 95% of the lyrics to “Maybe if I try hard enough”, turning what was once a cheesy joke song into something much more serious for me, admitting anxieties about starting a new chapter in my life, leaving home and learning to let go of the past. Still working on it.

Peachy Keen, Avril Lavigne

“Peachy Keen” was born from the deadly combination of vulnerability, questioning your identity, and targeted advertising. I sat on the intro/chorus riff of this song for months not knowing what to do with it, but this song kind of fell on me one day after (metaphorically) pulling my hair out because I felt like a complete stranger to myself and felt stupidly uncomfortable in my body. I felt so sorry for not expressing myself the way I wanted for years, but I was also too afraid of the judgment of complete strangers to do anything about it. I think I still am! It’s a fun song and definitely one of our favorites to play. What good is an identity crisis if you can’t turn it into a fun punk song?

Unwanted sleep

Recording our first EP was the first time we spent a lot of time together as a band, doing what we dreamed of. Coming home from that great height and going straight back to a job that I didn’t like and a routine that was wearing me down was a bad start. It was a domino effect that culminated in the hard times inspiring “Junk Sleep”, a song titled after the actual lack of sleep you feel when you fall asleep while watching TV or looking at your phone. Coming into the band with an incredibly honest song about falling apart, having to put on a happy face, etc. was difficult but it immediately left an impact. I just remember playing him Jack and him being a bit dumbfounded. Cal arrived shortly after and Jack immediately got me back into the game. The track was originally supposed to be on our second EP Closed for the season, but it wasn’t quite ready. We’re glad we kept it for the album because people seem to respond to it really well, and with some of the tough stuff written on the album, it felt like it fit in perfectly. I think playing it live for the first time is going to be emotional.

Life after the credits

Have you ever seen characters walk away into the sunset at the end of a movie and be like, “Well, they’re happy now, but what happens next?” – probably not, but it’s interesting to think about, isn’t it? Well, that’s what inspired this song and made me look at my own life from that angle. I almost feel like I wrote it as a more optimistic version of myself speaking to the pessimistic person who wrote “Maybe if I try hard enough”. As mentioned in the second verse, I kept dreaming of my childhood home that we moved away from in 2019. That move felt like the end of a chapter, but I was struggling to move on and to look ahead in life. The lyrics to the chorus of “Don’t look back, you can’t live in the past so look ahead before you crashwas like a quiet voice in my head telling me that if I always look back, I won’t see what lies ahead.

To dream of you

Whenever I hear bands writing songs in such a short period of time (like blink-182’s ‘Dammit’) I feel like they’re massively exaggerating, but ‘Dream of You’ was really written in very little time – I still have a flashback recording on my PC of me writing half of it. I was thinking back to that pure excitement that fills your body when you first meet the person you end up falling in love with and it inspired a song about my partner. Sometimes I feel guilty for always turning so many plates that I don’t have enough time to do all the things we want to do together, but I would always see her in my dreams so even if we were too busy to see the other I could still see her in some form and hoped she would be the same. The whole song came so fast and I think it’s because I was writing from a place of passion for once.

New person

Said I wouldn’t write a song about this yearrefers to the first year of the pandemic, but it ended up being much more than that. At the time, I was so fed up with the events of 2020 and 21. I didn’t want to do what so many people seemed to be doing – make concrete references to them in their music, which they would then think of every time they heard or would play the song. But I struggled a lot with my mental health during that time and I feel like a completely different person now than before. I think a lot of people faced a similar battle and felt the need to write “Brand New Person” around that time. This song was almost abandoned at first, but the way the “am i drowning“The bridge section juxtaposed with the fast, upbeat verses really helped bring the idea of ​​mixed emotions to life. I’m super proud of the solo/ending section too.

Papu Pyramid

The chorus of this song was written when I was 14 or 15, sitting in the back of an English class at school. I was always writing lyrical ideas, none of which have emerged until now. The words “I always knew I was gonna fall off the radar, never knew I was gonna fall this farwere written in fear of losing my friends once we left school and becoming irrelevant to their lives. This exact thing ended up happening, except Jack and a few others, so when I dreamed 6 years later a friend from school had passed away, I immediately started working on a song that those half-decade old lyrics would fit in. It felt like a collaboration with my self. The title came from a video game that me and this friend had recently played together after a two-year catch-up.

Vacant

I’ve never been the confrontational type and so when tensions rise in relationships. I tend to prefer talking about it rather than discussing it. But sometimes I can’t bear to talk about it until it’s too tender to talk about. I wrote “Vacant” from both my perspective and my partner’s because there are always two sides to a situation and more often than not both sides are valid. You have to talk about it. If your relationship is always a case of who’s right and who’s wrong, it’s probably not healthy.

Deliciously diabolical

Shortly before recording the album, I sent the demos to my partner and despite the fun, she also worried about me and asked if I was okay. I hadn’t realized how dark and dark the whole album ended up being. So a few weeks before recording, I wrote a fun song about how much I cherish my friends and that the times I spend with them are often the only times I’m truly happy. In the studio, we couldn’t decide if we wanted the guitar riff to be low or high, so Sam Bloor, the producer, inserted an octave pedal into the pedal chain and the problem was solved. Old family recipe!

Crawl

Maybe next time!

The calm before the storm

Guess I didn’t do a very good job listening to the lyrics to “Post Credits Life” because the last song on the album is again about romanticizing the past, except this one is more about the issue of nostalgia and if the good times were really as good as we remember. I’m often nostalgic for times when I know I was probably miserable during, so “Calm Before the Storm” challenges the idea of ​​whether things really suck now or whether we just need to live a little longer today rather than constantly looking back and assuming it was better. We had a lot of fun recording this one. I almost passed out doing the long note at the end of the song, so we only did two takes of it (I think we used the second). The three of us then gathered around a microphone in the large concert hall of Lower Lane Studio and piled on the band’s vocals that end the album. The chatter and applause at the end was pretty much the last thing we recorded too, so it was a really nice and mostly unplanned way to wrap up our very first album.

Learn to let go is out now on Counter Intuitive Records.


Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison


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