As an upcoming graduate, fear of transitioning into adulthood constantly looms in the back of my mind. This is an all-too-common affliction, of course – seniors start frothing at the mouth at the prospect of having their own place and seeing more than three zeroes on their paychecks, but prematurely begin to mourn their friendships and relationships as life sets the involved parties on different paths.
While twenty years worth of comradery doesn’t magically fade into nothingness at the cue of tossing a cap into the air, it’s difficult to confront a reality where you aren’t glued at the hip with people you grew to know and love. Everyone scatters to their various corners of the globe, and distance begins to chisel away at connections thought to be more unbudgeable than a statue.
This is natural, of course. But the thought of having to reformat a relationship accordingly is what really gets to me – calling your best friend on their birthday doesn’t offer the same gaiety as buying them a celebratory drink, just as telling a partner that you love them over FaceTime will never feel the same as embracing each other with open arms.
I’ll save the rest of that soliloquy for another day. The only reason I’m being so melodramatic is because Lyle Kam’s newest single, titled “isn’t it funny,” took my end-of-summer blues and made them as navy as can be.
Dream-pop keys accompany a voice that provides the most satisfactory yet bittersweet of lullabies, as Lyle Kam justles with the reality of having to put a long-distance relationship to rest. The core of the track surrounds itself around the notion that the world doesn’t wait around as you chase your wildest dreams.
Everything constantly goes through change, and there is no such thing as permanence. In Lyle’s case, if he’s halfway across the globe and doing his damndest to get his name out in the industry – “and I know we can’t help it, ‘cause both our dreams will lead to different countries, but I’d be dumb to sit around and not do anything” – imploring his love to abandon her dream in favor of tagging along is simply too much to ask for.
Yes, close relationships tend to be very resilient – a notion that Kam sheds lights unto at the end of that line. But that line really stuck with me because of its starkness. Everyone lives their best life, but it’s selfish to expect the world to stay still as you keep moving.
The sonic quality of the song is as comforting as a fuzzy blanket, almost contrasting a subject matter that is anything but. Kam’s artistry reminds me of LAUV’s in this sense – pop music that presents itself as a wonderland, yet reminds the listener that there is always hardship in paradise.
As such, “isn’t it funny” is a dog days anthem that earns its spot in any playlist meant for self-discovery. Whether you beckon for years past or for time yet to come, this track will place you front and center with the very one thing you refuse to let go of – while tough to digest, treat this single as a lifelong supplement of sorts.
By Aidan Mega