Indie rock has really settled nicely in with the small town demographic, and the music of the genre continues to capture the lifestyle. Mom Jeans is a rising contender for the top dogs of the genre, but that doesn't mean they go against its principles. If anything, they capture it wholly. Mom Jeans' Puppy Love sees life through the underdogs' eyes, but in a sadder, almost hopeless light.
There's a lowkey style to Puppy Love that makes it, above all else, relatable. The best thing about this genre is that it feels a lot like you're just talking to a friend or listening to their story. Opening track 'Near Death Fail Comp (Must Watch Til End)' brings in a chill vibe to get that "just hanging out" atmosphere set up, a big hometown vibe adding a familiar warmth. Even though the record has an overarching theme of hiding sadness, that sense of being together with people you care about and care about you certainly magnifies the message.
The sadness is what really adds depth to Puppy Love. Despite the seeming happiness, there's a distinct sense of sadness that really makes it so much more real. 'Sponsor Me Tape' has a lot of undermining sad tones to it, which is largely deflected by the great instrumental movements, which includes the surprising brass section at the end. 'Glamorous' chugs ahead with lots of self-hatred, before the dejected 'I Left My Towel At My Friend's House and Then They Moved, Pt. 1' comes through (followed by the more energetic, if not more emotional 'Pt. 2'). Some of the most pained tracks have to be the ones where Just Friends' Brianda Goyos León joins for harmonies, as they bring together a relationship element to the record; specifically, one that seems to be on the ropes. 'You Can't Eat Cats, Kevin' and 'Now This Is Podracing' are those two tracks, and as much as they attempt to live in the moment and avoid their problems (usually, as they say, by smoking weed), they know reality is just around the corner.
Mom Jeans' Puppy Love sees life through the underdogs' eyes, but on the dark side. There's sadness but there's familiarity as well. Even as depressed as the record is, the warm familiarity of having friends nearby (as the atmosphere creates) helps one thing come across: no matter how alone you feel, there's always someone who'll understand you.
Favorite Tracks: You Can't Eat Cats, Kevin; Pt. 2; Sponsor Me Tape
Least Favorite Track: Pickle Bart
Rating: 77 / 100
Stream or buy Puppy Love on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify