free space are “two lil lo-fi bedroom pop kids making music with their friends” in Chattanooga Tennessee. Josh Mays plays guitar, Abi Brown plays bass and synths, and they both do some singing. Their latest album, ahead of myself, was released back in May, but I like it a lot so I’m going to post this review despite its lateness.
ahead of myself begins with ‘glowmont drive’, a lo-fi bedroom pop song with acoustic guitar and the duo’s vocals, possessing the same mellow and sad vibes as Trace Mountains and Fairweather Currents. Brown takes over vocal duties on ‘sleeping in dorms’, with its heady reverberating guitar and dreamily smeared vocals, while ‘trying’ is a downbeat lo-fi song. ‘sororities never liked me’ is another Brown-centric track, with lyrics reflective and honest (“and i’m not a quitter but i’m surely not a winner / you say i’m the latter but i know better / i know you flatter / me with those kinds of words”). Mays and Brown sing together on ‘people’, a pretty little bedroom pop song, before ‘limbic system’ which is gentle and sad, swaddled in buzzing synths that sound somehow quietly transcendental, like lo-fi church organ ringing in simple devotion.
“your studies show
you’re normal but your insides scream otherwise
but sometimes anatomy can’t show
why you can’t feel quite right
a dose of perspective and some animal crackers keep me alive”
‘bible names’ is just soft acoustic guitar and Mays’ & Brown’s vocals, a song about escaping reality, or perhaps trying to find a better one, one where dad doesn’t hit mom, where the lawn isn’t covered in garbage. The repeated chorus line of “show me I’m real” hints at finding solace in another person, that fact of life that company can make the bad things seem better.
“I wish I could collapse like a star/ or maybe just into bed” begins the finale ‘I wish I was plural’, with its warm thick atmosphere that sounds undeniably hopeful. It has the same devotional bedroom pop vibe as Florist’s The Birds Outside Sang and proves a great end to a really nice album.
“now i wish i was grass
now i wish i was leaves
now i wish i was wind
now i wish i was everything
You can get ahead of myself on a name-your-price basis via the free space Bandcamp page.