I’m Glad We’re Friends is the second full length release from Chicago’s Thank You, I’m Sorry. This record takes a few cuts from their debut The Malta House, a collection of acoustic tunes that perfectly capture the young adult experience, and gives them the full band treatment. The addition of Bethunni Schreiner on bass and Sage Livergood on the drums adds new energy to Colleen Dow’s songs, giving them a liveliness that plays around her endearing laid back vocals.
The anxieties of growing up is a recurring theme in this album, as the opener “Manic Pixie Dream Hurl” starts with “I’m hiding under the covers”. At its heart, I’m Glad With Friends is a coming-of-age story that captures the awkwardness of Scott Pilgrim and the realism of Lady Bird. Uneasiness and charm interweave through its narrative, led by jangly pop chords and Dow’s straightforward depictions of the difficulties of adult life. There are so many times in this album that I had to stop and breathe, telling myself that it’s all too real. From the breakdown in “How Many Slugs Can we Throw Against the Wall Until We Question Our Own Morality” where Dow chants “I tell myself / I won’t account to much / I tell myself / Won’t ever accomplish the things I love”, to “Menthol Flavored Oatmeal’s” “anything beats being twenty” which gets me every time. The truth never hurt this much.
Another sub theme that emerges are the awkward moments of young love. “Ten Dollar Latte” wrestles at how long one should wait before replying to a text, a simple premise that is sold by the vocals running at a breathless pace, stuck between obsession and restraint. “Follow Unfollow”, one of the new songs in the album captures self-doubt in a relationship perfectly. It flips through narratives of love and hate at every turn, giving off the feeling of what could have been.
The album ends with two new tracks that hints at the direction for the band for the future. “Between Hell and Hair School” makes use of atmospheric synths and distorted riffs with an expansive flourish, elegantly waltzing as Dow chants “I don’t wanna go outside / I want to stay inside my room and do nothing all day”. “Backpack Life” takes on a pop-punk energy, where the band shows a glimpse of optimism in this song about couch surfing. It’s not quite sunshine and rainbows though, as Dow sings about running away from real life, but just like the quirky brilliance of this latest release, it’s a damn good start.