For their latest effort, Beach Slang once again donned the Quiet Slang monicker. Its purpose is to tip off listeners that Everything Matters but No One Is Listening won’t contain the faster, punkier songs Beach Slang is known for. Instead, James Alex and his friends rely on acoustic instruments to achieve their still emotional sound.
“Bad Art & Weird Ideas” leads off the album and sets the “quite” tone. The track is driven by piano and a strings section. Singer James Alex’s voice is audibly restrained compared to his vocals on traditional Beach Slang albums. But Alex’s lyrics remain similar. He sings: “I’ve always felt stuck, alone or ashamed/The gutter’s too tough, the stars are too safe.”
“Future Mixtape for the Art Kids” is a self aware third track. Over the still quiet and slow instrumentation, Alex asks the listener “Play it loud/Play it fast/Play me something that will always last.” But the song is lined with optimism. Alex sings “I hope I never die”; a line averse to sentiments made by many of his emo contemporaries. Another hint of optimism comes from the line “There is heaven in these streets.”
“Dirty Cigarettes” is a song about using distractions to avoid confronting personal issues. The song starts with Alex singing “I write a lot it’s mostly lies/I fall in love to pass the time.” He later notes “I get in trouble when things get quiet.”
Beach Slang’s Everything Matters but No One is Listening is a challenging listen, but not without its moments. However, most fans will likely walk away just hoping for another “loud slang” album.