“Is it human to become so lost?”
Facing things head on can be tough, especially when your mind is all over the place and you’re not sure what to feel. For DWNTWN’s Jamie Leffler, the band’s debut album, Racing Time, was a safe place to question life’s mysteries while healing herself in the process. For the listener, we’re able to pinpoint our issues a lot easier when there’s a song written about them and this record is a bittersweet healer of all things painful.
“You don’t even know how to realize fate don’t exist, it’s only a state of mind,” sings Leffler and Robert Cepeda in lead single, “Bloodshot Eyes” – a reminder that things are only as we see them and any situation can be changed just by a different way of thinking. Love can be misinterpreted but so can hate. The line of, “Fuck, I don’t know what I am doing anymore,” a relevant sentiment in our current society where we build up illusions of pretty scenes to fill our minds up, blocking out all of the unsettling things we’ve come to view as normal.
Racing Time, in part, is Leffler’s story on losing her father at age 14 – something the singer touched briefly on in “Heroine” off the band’s 2014 self-titled EP. Tracks like “Drowning,” “Sticks & Stones” and the devastating “Fourteen,” opened some wounds for the singer as she vividly paints us a picture of what it was like growing up with a famous parent all while losing him too quickly.
“Love Someone” touches on the topic of renegade hearts who will never commit set to DWNTWN’s glorious signature indie/electro-pop while “Pioneer Square,” an old favorite from the band’s 2012 debut EP, Cowboys, gets a revamp as Leffler’s vocals kill us softly with every word.
Speaking of killing us (in the best possible way, of course) nothing beats the urgency of “Lonely.” “A storm is brewing in my mind. I’m racing time,” sings Leffler in the chorus; a track to specifically take on a long night drive to clear your head.
“Little Night Song” is a reminder of everything we never took a chance on while the aforementioned “Back & Forth” confronts the things we cannot seem to comprehend while in the moment. “Is it human to become so lost?” Somehow, I get the feeling that it’ll always be this way but “everyone is gonna die someday,” so all we can do is revel in the confusion, as hard as it may be.
Closing out the album with the 1962 classic of “As The Sparrow Goes” with stepmom, Carlene Carter, one chapter closes as another begins. Perhaps foreshadowing into their next release? We sure hope so.
Racing Time is available now here.