"Luxury" is a curious name for the debut five-track EP from Brooklyn’s Patio. The word luxury smells of success and comfort, and would maybe make a good name for a track by any generic rapper, accompanied by a video starring yachts and champagne. But this EP’s title track is anchored by the lyrics “I’m bored / And I’m stuck / And yet somehow I’m / Still standing by,” sung moodily by guitarist Lindsay “LP” Paige over a dreamy guitar riff.
“Everything costs a lot of money,” bassist Loren DiBlassi then states, in a spoken-word bridge. The simple, yet painfully and universally relatable words gliding over the high-tempo guitar riff gives the song an almost meditative feel. You know that moment when life seems as though it just can’t get any worse? When you lie down and that warm feeling of self-pity takes over? It turns out that’s a rather apt way to describe this record.
In an interview with Impose, the three-piece band describe how the group came to be, saying the concept of Patio, per DiBlasi, began as a joke. “I was like, wouldn’t that be a hilarious band name for a group of idiotic, sad millennials just complaining about their lives when their lives are actually fine?” That level of painful self-awareness is a large part of what really makes this EP. LP’s vocals are downright beautiful at times, and yet the content of what she sings is very much quotidian.
On the second track, “Arbitrary Numbers,” she croons about trying to find food that hasn’t gone bad. “I can’t make myself go outside and pull it together,” she sings in the chorus, over a steady bass line. As the song crescendoes and comes to a close, LP delivers the lines, “Promise me if you see me go, you will pull me out.” On paper, the lyrics sound pretty depressing, conjuring images of a person plummeting towards despair, but sung in LP’s soft, reassuring manner. The effect is something that acknowledges life’s near constant ennui but points you towards redemption.
In the angrier and shorter “Gold,” Patio show off a more punk-leaning flair. The track features LP and DiBlasi bouncing words off of each other in quick succession. The two cycle through the stages of life (“Get a job / Get older”), their voices tinged with frustration at the mechanical flow of existence, from one dreary event to another. It calls to mind the work of fellow New Yorker Mitski in the way that it joins the humdrum with the poignant—which makes sense, given Patio’s unadulterated love for the musician.
As a debut release, Luxury is very promising. Though it reminds us of the unshakably bleak parts of life, it ultimately asks its listeners to join with the band’s own existential struggles, and what better way to fight one’s demons than with some kickass jams by your side?