Soft Idiot reflects on youth, loneliness, and love in final album, Younger Moments
For the last six years, Justin Roth has been performing as Soft Idiot. With the release of his newest album, Younger Moments, he also announced the end of Soft Idiot. In a post on the band’s Facebook page, Roth describes the album as an “appropriate sendoff — the culmination of everything I’ve learned in the last 5 years, both as an artist and as a person.” And Soft Idiot’s swan song certainly delivers just that, giving the best of Roth’s vivid lyrics, impeccable songwriting, and skill as a multi-instrumentalist.
The album opens on its title track, setting the stage with its serene and nostalgic instrumental arrangements. From there, “Younger Moments” blends seamlessly into “Siamese” where Roth sets the precedent for the emotional vocal performance that follows for the remainder of the album. The tracklist features nine songs. Those familiar with Roth’s last EP, Sun in a Basket, will be happy to hear polished versions of “Feels Like I’m Losing” and “It’s Cold and I Love You,” and those who haven’t will have the pleasure of getting to hear these two songs for the first time. The remaining seven songs of the album will be a treat to new and old fans alike, rounding out an album that doesn’t take a single stumble.
Even in its more electric moments, the album is soft, evoking the sort of indescribable longing that comes with the unsteadiness of young adulthood. Roth maintains a sort of quiet intensity for the entirety of the album, meshing his evocative lyricism with dream-like instrumentals. The songs ebb and flow between harder moments and milder moments, but maintain a softness even in the driving drums and strong guitar riffs that are sprinkled throughout.
Written over a year and a half, there is a sense of passing time throughout, captured the most in “I Want Everything” when Roth sings, “Steadfast and falling over feet / the ground is moving under me.” The album not only touches on passing time, but all of the things that can come with it: Loneliness, confusion, fear, and, ultimately, community. As he writes on Facebook:
I started this project in 2015 as a freshman in college. I was scared and very lonely, constantly questioning myself and my relationships. This music became an outlet for those feelings, trying to adjust to that weird space between adolescence and adulthood. Through sharing it, I became connected with many people who I love very much, and who continue to help me move forward and understand myself and the world around me. Through music, I found community.
While it is sad to see Soft Idiot come to an end, Younger Moments is certainly not a disappointment. This album sends off Soft Idiot with the exact kind of bang that such an incredible project deserves. While this is the final work that will come out of Soft Idiot, Roth has left the door open for future projects. “I’m going to take a break for a while but when I’m ready to come back with something new, I’ll let you know.”