Indie pop has never been so therapeutic as The Ivory’s Gloom EP. Shane Crump’s newest release has five songs equally drenched in vulnerability and irresistible charm. The great thing about these tracks is that they are laden with contagious hooks while boasting honest, relatable lyrics. It’s the type of pop music that you never need to feel guilty about listening to.
The intro track, “Be Young, Be Free” is an anthem for everyone who has gone through the roller coaster of a relationship that didn’t quite work out. Crump croons out piercing and empathetic lines such as, “Why can’t just one of us give up and end this?” and “I thought you were love at first sight,” before concluding, “It’s true, it’s true/I’m getting over you.” It’s a song that gives hope for closure for the broken hearted.
It seems like the big choruses never cease, but in a great way. Every song on Gloom EP communicates internal feelings via buttery verses and singalong melodies akin to The Fray.
“I’m A Mess” was released as a free-to-download single, and for good reason. It is the epitome of the sincere tone of the record. Crump battles between attachment and closure within every stanza of lyrics. In all of The Ivory’s words are sentiments that resound with nearly every listener and craft an endearing connection to these songs.
“I Miss You” is a mellow song carried by electronic beats and subtle harmonies. Lyrically, it is in step with the rest of the songs as Crump sings about trying to heal a broken heart. The bridge of the song is guided by atmospheric synths dancing in the background as an Imogen Heap-styled symphony of harmonies softly utter, “Let’s find a new place to start/And fix each other’s broken hearts/All I ever wanted was you”.
With every track comes melodies that infest themselves into your mind. Crump displays a polished proficiency at writing honest songs in a way that allows every listener to latch onto the lyrics and hooks and empathize with his emotions.
Gloom EP’s closing track, “Torn” leaves listeners with a delicate, yet resounding message. As the pulsating synths and reverberating chords cease and Crump coos over an acoustic guitar, “Baby if you want this now/Then just say it out loud/ That you want to hold on, hold/Or just move on,” an inevitable wave of sorrow flows through the speakers.
It is clear that Crump was going through a difficult time while making this record. But as is so often the case, tragic times yield beautiful, expressive music. Gloom EP may be written with tears and unrequited feelings, but it feels far from gloomy.
While most songs don’t stray too far from the other stylistically and lyrically, The Ivory has released an album that buds from one big idea, and that is that love can cause pain, but there is room for healing. It only needs to be found.
By: Ryan Glaspell