Low-toned, raspy vocals, tonal synths, hard-hitting drums, silky-smooth sax, and lyrics about life and death: Half Shadow’s latest track “I Practice Dying (In The Spare Room)” is a bedroom pop song that deserves to be listened to. The track is the second song off Half Shadow’s new LP, and the track is a slow-building, meaningful song. “I Practice Dying (In The Spare Room) is a 70s-Esque rock ballad, similar to rock bands like The Doors or The Who. Although the song has a nostalgic feel to it, more than anything, the dreamy song brings in fans of these bands but takes over listeners with their own unique, modern elements.
The iconic voice behind the melody is Jesse Carsten; His poetic lyrics about mortality and how to prepare for it are accompanied by slowly building instrumentals consisting of synths, keyboards, and drums. Dying is something that everyone experiences yet is one of the world’s most fearful, dreadful, and universal worries.
Carsten takes these feelings and turns them into, as he states, a poetic practice: It is less of something inevitable but something to practice getting ready for. The song has a dream-like quality, which somehow feels like what dying may feel like: Slowly falling into oblivion.
Along with Jesse Carsten, “I Practice Dying (In The Spare Room)” showcases Jem Marie (the Ghost Ease) and Julian Morris (Layperson, Post Moves) as backup vocals and Zach Burba (Mega Bog, Dear Nora) on the saxophone. The track is truly a masterpiece; A song about slowly going where no one knows where, but where we will all end up.
Written by Melissa Cusano