I’ve never related to the feeling of wanting to go back in time and re-experience my first time listening to something until the moment I finished listening to this album. That statement might make me sound like a bit of a masochist, though, because listening to this album hurts. Not in the kind of way where it’s cringe-y or it makes your ears bleed, but in the way where you can feel the pain of all the experiences Sarah Mary Chadwick writes about, as well as your own pain — these songs have a way of burrowing under your skin and digging up all the aches in your heart and soul that you might not have even remembered you still had.
The combination of Chadwick’s raw vocals, haunting piano accompaniments, and harrowing lyrics results in a cathartic sound. At certain points in the album, the lyrics are so melancholy and hard-hitting that listening to the words — especially those of “When Will Death Come” and title track “Please Daddy” — felt almost like an invasion of privacy, like I was a voyeur of Chadwick’s most vulnerable moments and lowest emotions.
That’s not to say that the whole album is bleak and somber, though; it has its moments of fun — though fun has a different definition in this album than what most of us would think. The lyrics never really get any brighter, but if you let your attention wander while listening, some songs — like “Let’s Fight” and “If I Squint” — seem light and folk-y, almost playful, despite the heavy topics they’re both centered around. The result of this mix of songs is an album that’s both confusing and comforting, letting you know that it’s okay to feel despair, grief, and numbness, but reminding you to find moments of pleasure in between as proof of the merits of being alive.
Indecencies: 3, 7, 9
Recommended: ALL — but especially 1, 3, 5, 10