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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "The King Of Nothing" - Justpeoplewatching

A sense of restlessness and frustration orbits the latest single from Justpeoplewatching, "The King of Nothing." Similarly rustic instrumentation to previous releases from the band collide with a new sense of urgency and calamity. Emotive vocals and self-destructive lyrics blend complexly with the bright guitar and sturdy percussion. The instrumental becomes a brace preventing the song from sagging into itself. An internal dialogue plays out in its almost-four-minute runtime, portraying the clash between one's desire to escape their own limitations and their deep-rooted compulsion towards self-laceration. They find few answers looking down from their isolation—instead resolving to risk adventuring out into the unknown.

Narrated from "in a castle built in the clouds," Justpeoplewatching metaphorically paint a fantastical portrait of isolation. "Least I know I'm safe here," the lead singer justifies in regards to the loneliness. The song swings like a pendulum between this restless seclusion and internal despair, which only serves to exacerbate the severity of each. But where this might swing out of control, Justpeoplewatching cleverly creates a grounded foundation in its writing. Despite not finding any reprieve from this conflict in the context of the song ("My heart gets heavy thats why I'm lonely"), there is the sense that it might be on the horizon. "Show me something beautiful outside my walls." It might feel dangerous to liberate yourself, but beauty and relief awaits outside.

Justpeoplewatching is an Edmonton-based alternative band. The group—consisting of a drummer, a guitarist, and two vocalists—began releasing music in 2020. While rooted in classic indie-rock, their tracks all experiment with a broader palette of inspirations and genres. The band focuses on discussions of mental health through personal and confessional lyrics. "The King of Nothing" is the band's first release of the year. Previous releases include 2021's "Superman" and 2020's "The Clock" and "Sniper's Nest."

Written By Andy Mockbee

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