As Waterparks release their first new music of 2020, we delve into what it represents and what it means as we move forwards.
Well, here we are. The first brand new music from Waterparks since the release of 'FANDOM' just under a year ago is out in the world and it provides a very real and incredibly vital look at how life has been for Awsten Knight recently.
Beginning with jaunty synth plods and what sounds like some vocal refrains played in reverse, we kick in with Awsten admitting, "I just cried into a shirt I could never afford last year" as drums come and join the party. After returning to Twitter last week after a five month absence, except to share some important Black Lives Matter resources at the beginning of June, it sounds like a stark and incredibly sincere admission of what the last few months have looked like for him away from the Internet.
Juxtaposed against an ever-expanding mixture of major key sounds and almost lounge-like keyboards, statements like that feel all the more raw.
The deeply honest lyricism keeps on coming as he shrugs, "I guess at least my work is working, right?" before stating, "I think people like me better when i'm hurt inside", drawing attention to the idea that people only enjoy his art when it's heartbreaking rather than full of happiness before calling back to 'FANDOM' favourite 'Watch What Happens Next' with the line, "I like cool shirts, I like cold rings / I want a big house, but I'm hiding", admitting that he may have the means to live out his dreams right now, but that doesn't mean he's comfortable with it.
The chorus changes the tone somewhat, as Awsten shifts up an octave and croons, "If you need me now / I'll be there somehow" whilst also saying that he wants to, "Fly away like I have my own airline", another callback to the many times he's referenced flying somewhere to be with his loved ones in the band's material previously. Before you know it, the cutesy turns of phrase are cut short as the second verse follows much the same vein as the first with Awsten grimacing at the fact he hasn't had a day off since their debut album 'Double Dare' and admits he should call his parents to let them know he's okay before cursing his brain and sceaming that he just wants to see his stupid fucking friends.
Rounding things off with some thunderous guitars and sweet refrains of "I'm highkey and lowkey as hell", it's here that you realise just how much has been packed into these two minutes and sixteen seconds.
Earlier this week, Awsten 'leaked' this track via Instagram Live whilst cutting off his flourescent green hair, near enough signalling the demise of the 'FANDOM' era. If we were to rewind to April 2019 when he 'leaked' 'Turbulent' whilst enjoying a very blue drink, it's fascinating to see the constrast between the two songs and those two moments in time. 'Turbulent' was the beginning of a chapter that had just replaced the recently scrapped 'Friendly Reminder' and served as a callous and wonderful cathartic slice of alt-pop that let his feelings be known in the most scathing of ways.
'Lowkey As Hell' works the same way, but in a much heavier manner. Despite the instrumental, this is not a happy song, but it is an important one. It's a reminder that it's okay to not be okay, and it's just as okay to tell the world about it. It's a quick note to say that we don't always know what's going on inside someone's head and that no matter what your circumstance is, your head still has the means to play havoc with you. More than anything it tells us that if this is the first taste of whatever shape the 'G' album is going to take, we're surely in for an emotional and hardhitting ride.
It may not be a lowkey return for Waterparks, but it's certainly a fascinating one.