SLUGS are a four-person alternative and indie rock group based out of Los Angeles whose recent single, “Super Sane,” approaches with a subtle intensity akin to many other genre stars like Snail Mail and Phoebe Bridgers. While the electric guitars are there, it feels oddly acoustic when played so reserved, and when accompanied by a glossy, sublime harmony of female vocals. The echoes of the other instruments and open, breathy voices don’t hurt either. The reverb helps to keep the track full of sound while still holding on to the tame, soothing sonic qualities that compliment the defeated lyrical delivery—it also makes the song feel comfortable and home-y. It’s hard to call the instrumental unique, but it does everything it needs to do in the confines of the song.
Despite a lack of direct flare from the guitar playing, the track hits hard with how emotionally distant it is. The repeated line “I’m super sane, I feel fine” would feel obviously ingenuine if said directly at you, and it keeps the same quality in the song as well. If that was the only lyrical context you were given, you’d know something was truly wrong, and of course through the individual verses, they make that even more apparent. The group is incredibly transparent, dealing with the super difficult grievance of a close friend, but still attempting to hold themselves together and seem okay. For anyone familiar with the five stages of grief, it seems close to bridging the gap between depression and acceptance. And I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t appreciate or relate to that harsh reality.
SLUGS’ latest release is an emotional-yet-modest exploration of death’s impacts. With a standard-but-solid instrumental approach, all of the most important pieces come from the story being told directly to you. Though it lacks a true folk-inspired sonic quality, I can’t help but feel like it lands itself in the genre, spiritually. And at the same time, the underplayed presentation is similar to a soft grunge song. A more apt comparison would be the aforementioned female indie stars, and it isn’t even that far off from some of their music. If you’re into moving, sincere art, or just indie rock in general (like I am), it’s a wonderful addition to your music library.