Home Read Albums Of The Week: Say Sue Me | The Last Thing Left

Albums Of The Week: Say Sue Me | The Last Thing Left

The South Korean surf-popsters ride big emotional waves on their poignant third LP, moving through the rough waters of grief and loss toward the shores of healing.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Busan, South Korea indie rock quartet Say Sue Me return with The Last Thing Left, their first new album release since 2018’s critically acclaimed Where We Were Together.

After a flurry of international activity culminating with a debut North American tour at the end of 2019, like everyone else in the world, the band were forced to take a touring hiatus in 2020, and quietly began work on a new album. The Last Thing Left was self-recorded and self-produced during lockdown at the band’s own Busan studio.

2018’s Where We Were Together largely dealt with the emotional fallout from the absence of dear friend and the band’s original drummer Semin Kang, who passed away in October 2019. Then, the pandemic. Needless to say, these events left their marks on the band, and the new album leans heavily on themes of loss, loneliness, grief and healing, and love. Opening instrumental The Memory of The Time signals a passage of time while serving as a continuation to the sonic ending of Where We Were Together. Still Here furthers evokes the isolated mood we’ve all felt, especially in the early days of the pandemic. Lead single Around You is signature Say Sue Me, upbeat melancholy with a ’60s surf-guitar twang and ’90s indie-rock influences.

 

Photo by Lim So.

We Look Alike’s playful basslines and 16th note guitar rhythms showcase a funkier side to the band’s stylings. The driving beat of No Real Place illustrates the desire in the lyrics to move forward and keep on keeping on. To Dream is the sole Korean-language track of the album, angelic vocals paint notes on to a walking beat, liquidic duel guitar solos shimmer and mesmerise.

Photo of You begins slow paced with a riff reminiscent of Stephen Malkmus that crescendos into a soaring ballad that Roy Orbision could be proud of. Title track The Last Thing Left can be interpreted as an ode to Semin and his lasting legacy on the band. Now I Say is stripped back to haunting vocals and acoustic guitar and a sprinkling of keyboard lines. George & Janice was wrtten at the beginning of 2019 as a wedding gift for the co-heads of their label. The band had intended for this song to provide the overall atmosphere and beginning point for a new album, but instead, the making of the album became about finding their way back to it.

“This album has the theme of some realization, eventually the realization of love. Love in relationships, love for oneself, and the ultimate love gained after realizing those two things!” says singer-guitarist Sumi Choi.”

 

Photo by Lim So.