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Album Review

REVIEW: Fuzzybrain by Dayglow

October 15, 2021

by Eren Mendez

Dayglow’s 2018 debut album, Fuzzybrain, is an indie pop ode to self discovery and exploration  in the perplexing teenage years of high school, focusing on the heartbreak, confusion, and exhilaration that comes with it.  Frontman Sloan Struble wrote, recorded, and produced this album by the age of nineteen, shortly before moving to college. With singles like “Can I Call You Tonight?” that ravaged TikTok in the spring of 2020, this album skyrocketed Sloan Struble to fame. I remember hearing the song in a TikTok trend in the last months of my senior year in which people announced what colleges they had been accepted and denied to, growing to associate this electrifying song with the upcoming change in my life and the frightening feeling of growing up.

The opener of the album, “False Direction” portrays the urgency of having to break the stagnant cycle of waiting for a new version of yourself without actually taking control and being consumed with the feelings of being stuck in an unhealthy relationship. This upbeat song transitions into the most popular of the album “Can I Call You Tonight?”, which is a compelling monologue of Struble’s internal struggle to decide whether or not to confess his feelings for someone. Struble illustrates trying his hardest to understand the quiet words on a phone call in order to pick apart and analyze them, leading into a state of overthinking in which he can no longer distinguish between reality and an illusion. 

“Hot Rod” poses a contrast to the previous idealization of his girlfriend as being perfect. Dayglow sings “I’m sorry for not wanting to be your decor,” which shows his realization that his relationship has diminished and dulled him to something superficial that is inauthentic to who he is and it shows him wanting to break free from those restraints. Dayglow recently performed at Texas A&M University’s very own 12th Jam Festival and concluded his set with the crowd-pleaser “Run The World!!!”, which had the entire crowd chanting and jumping along to the invincible melody of wanting to run the world. These songs form a duo in which Dayglow switches to the viewpoint that his girlfriend might not be the right one for him.

My personal favorite on the album, “Fuzzybrain,” is a universal, touching song that is deeply resonant to a feeling most of us have experienced. The nostalgic touch of the slow guitar strumming combined with Sloan’s stellar lyricism create a crystalline transparency that shows the vulnerability and the duality of post-breakup sadness. Although the song speaks about heartache stemming from a relationship, I consider the meaning of the song to extend past this and delve into the endless cycle and solace of depression. The line “I’m cleaning out the fuzz in my brain time and time again,” is a beautiful portrayal of the fragility of humans and the internal grief that characterizes humanity and connects us. 

In 2019, Dayglow released an expanded version of Fuzzybrain, which introduced us to the songs “Nicknames'' and “Listerine.” “Nicknames” expands on the theme of “Hot Rod” of incompatibility with a lover and the inescapability of mutual mistakes. Additionally, it analyzes the presentation of a persona to conform with social expectations. The final track, “Listerine,” is an intoxicating conclusion that provides a depiction of the distortion that came with attempting to reignite the relationship following a break. Despite the time apart, Struble accentuates that he “knew [he] wouldn’t change,” and the song fades into a presumed end to the relationship.

Fuzzybrain was a sensational introduction to the polished, exceptionally skilled work of Dayglow and it leaves the impression that Sloan Struble will evolve into a prominent musician that will redefine boundaries and leave a lasting impact on the world of indie pop. 

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