The songs on the 5 track project “Do You Recognize Yourself In These Pictures?” by Passion Days work so well together it’s almost impossible to listen to them apart. They really demand to be heard together. It’s the true embodiment of what an album or EP should be: not a collection of songs bound together on a piece of media but rather a musical journey into the heart of something. The production is minimal, relying mainly on voice and guitar. The melodies and tones are moody and haunting. Passion Days’ lyricism sounds personal, honest, transparent, and earnest.
Passion Days is an independent artist from Oswego, New York, who focuses on writing indie and lo-fi rock. The entrancing sound of his unmistakable music is beautiful in its simplicity, and will undoubtedly hold your attention from start to finish. The sound is quiet yet substantive. It is about as raw as it gets and will make you feel something real if you give it the attention it deserves.
“Do You Recognize Yourself In These Pictures?” sees Passion Days refine his music down to its essentials. There are no orchestral flourishes, no electronic embellishments; there aren’t even any drums. The searing personal nature of the song demands it to be free from any superfluous embellishment.
The solitary soundscape and lo-fi production value of the single, “Are You Proud of Me” will sink deep into your psyche and possibly give you a lot to ponder about. The vocals are layered whispers that remain constant and warm, surrounded by the hush sounds Passion Days has strung together. It’s a record meant to be listened to alone in silence, in order to be as empathetic with songwriter as one can possibly be.
The continuous guitar notes here lull you into a trance, as Passion Days plunders the depths of intimate storytelling. “Are you proud of me?” he asks, “finally pursuing my dreams. I’ll never hear you say it. Are you proud of me?” His disappointment is evident, as is his anguish. It’s an achingly beautiful performance, which befits the searing honesty and stark soul-bearing emotion.
The song revolves around making sense of the unfathomable; of uncertainty, of unanswered questions, and the bottomless feeling of not being understood or appreciated. It only takes half of the track for us to realize the impossibility of his quest. This is a sad though beautiful and tender listen. There is uncertainty and no answers forthcoming, yet a slim thread of hope ids remnant in the singer’s voice.
“Are You Proud of Me”, like the rest of the recording, is sparse musically, but it doesn’t feel bare. The onus, no doubt, is on the words, and the emotion. As the track progresses, Passion Days’ imagery gets simultaneously more visceral and more figurative, a quality that combines with devastating effect.
The song finally fades and closes in a flux of uncertainty, with the singer still begging the question: “Are you proud of me?” The honesty Passion Days conveys in this song is heart rendering.