If Daft Punk and Fleet Foxes had a lovechild, The Sometimes Island would disappoint its parents by coming home dirtier than they were. Lead vocalist and one-man-band Matt Blankenship Jr have performed with Banks, YACHT, Fred Falke, and many more. The LA-based Alternative Pop band has released a single a month leading up to their second EP.
With their most recent release of “I Can’t Lose You,” The Sometimes Island exudes a live-off-the-floor performance that drowns the audience in a pristine environment of creativity. With Matt Blankenship Jr taking his artistic brush and stroking a colorful wheel of sensation throughout this piece, the thought-provoking words exuded by his vocalization deliver a gritty and dimensional feel throughout the entire mid-tempo arrangement.
Pulsating with momentum and purpose, the rounded percussion sets the pace as we are introduced to a medley of harmonies and instruments. “I Can’t Lose You” echoes with an alluring presence that swims in a bath of texture delicacy. The tender juxtaposition of lyrics that come from the heart creates a wistful fusion of timbres more felt than heard. “There’s a moment we never got to say goodbye” is the lyrical motif that has us deep into our headspace, exploring relatable storylines that we have once lived out.
The luxurious grooves mesh between genres while floating upon a unique sound true to The Sometimes Island. If we can expect a single month until the EP, we’re thrilled to hear the vibration That Matt Blankenship Jr will serve up next.
We thoroughly enjoy the messaging in your latest single, “I Can’t Lose You.” What moment or story inspired the lyrical content?
As cliche as it sounds, the lyrics came to me in a dream; or rather a nightmare. I had parted ways with my dog after my ex took him with her when she left (I wrote a song about this called You Stole My Dog) and I was struggling with a lot of anger.
The anger kind of gave way to this sadness when I dreamt that I had the dog in my arms, and he jumped out to chase a ball, and fell out a window. It felt so real. It was one of those dreams. I still remember every single detail. I wrote "I Can't Lose You" so I could get that feeling out.
Could you please share a glimpse of the creative and recording process you went through to get the desired sound of this track?
The lyric-writing process came from the dream, and crystallizing them was a process of distilling a coherent narrative from several pages worth of lines. The only one I knew I had to include was the titular "I can't lose you." The sound came from a long-standing desire to write what I thought of as a "prom song". The sort of 80s, cheesy, close-dancing, someone-spiked-the-punch kind of John Hughes vibe. I was listening to "Durga II" by Generationals on repeat at the time, and listening back I definitely took rhythmic inspiration from that song. The music now needed words. These lyrics were a perfect match, and I don't typically write the music and lyrics separately but that's how this song came together.
What types of storylines and emotions can we expect from your future releases?
The upcoming Pilot EP is a reference to a couple of things - Pilot is the dog in question's name, and it's also the name for the first episode of a TV show. I feel like I'm starting over after this pandemic begins to subside. I have felt like I presume most people do, that little voice inside our heads that tells us "it's too late", and "you've missed your chance". When I was 26 I started feeling like music would never "happen" for me and that I was too old.
The little voice is a liar. There has been so much pain and resultant growth from the last year of Covid lockdown. Storylines include struggling with my girlfriend's opioid and drug addiction, my bandmate's breakup, little-voice-inspired nostalgia and regret, and more. I'm a relentlessly optimistic, happy guy - and I think that's because I can get my depression and sadness down in song form and release them.
As an artist, what is the main message that you’re hoping your audience takes away from you?
The message is that there's a light on the other side. Whatever you're struggling with is real. It's so hard to keep going sometimes. To keep one day's progress followed by the next day's, no matter how small, is the way out.
The Pilot EP comes out on March 17. St. Patrick's Day. I am, for the first time in my career, really happy with how it sounds. I am starting a solo project, releasing songs under my name, Matt Blankenship Jr. Expect the first of those releases on April 16. Beyond that, I'm looking forward to the same things we all are - hugging a stranger, buying someone a beer, and seeing live music again.