Smol Data- Inconvenience Store (Album Review)
Being a part of a community of like minded people is great, but what happens when you grow up and realize that there is more to life and your creativity that this community can’t give you? Hailing from Long Island, and growing up in the music and arts scene there, Karah Goldstein, or Smol Data, asks this question and many other questions like it on her new record Inconvenience Store. Throughout the course of half an hour, Smol Data treats listeners to a tale as old as time, the thoughts and emotions of someone who has recently graduated with a specialized degree, but seemingly finds themselves stuck in the same town they have lived for their whole lives, knowing there is more to life than the same sights you’ve seen several hundred times before. On the surface, after this explanation, one could automatically assume that this album is going to be nothing but a person feeling sorry for themselves and the situation that they find themselves in. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, Goldstein entraps people (willingly of course) in the world she finds herself in currently by way of a concept album that acts as a caricature of the art scene that she currently finds herself growing out of.
Lyrically, this album is full of great tongue in cheek moments and lyricism throughout, that really feels at home in the bedroom indie community. The lyrics are honest but yet heavily wrapped up in metaphor, so it doesn’t get to be terribly navel-gazey and exhausting. It’s the type of lyricism that feels oddly personal but distant at the same time. This makes moments that are more straightforward really stick out in the best of ways throughout the record. A highlight of this example, for me anyways would have to be the title track ‘Inconvenience Store’. It’s a song about having a breakdown of sorts, the protagonist finds themselves working at a store at 23, a job anyone could hold, and the weight they carry around their shoulders. It strikes a chord with me personally, and it's hard not to feel like this record was also written for me, as I am going through the same exact thoughts as Karah is going through throughout the entirety of the record.
There are so many offbeat ideas throughout this record that just work throughout Inconvenience Store that lead to its brilliance. Lyricism aside, there are some fun ideas to add to the sort of idea of feeling like your ideas are washed up. A prime example is the unapologetic ska break on ‘Bitch Store’. This is probably the easiest example to pinpoint for people, as the track seemingly breaks away so we can hear a ska break in all its glory. These abrupt ideas throughout add to the charm of the world Smol Data is able to place us into throughout the record and keeps this album feeling like a full cinematic experience. These ideas make it easier to understand exactly what's going on in the mind of Smol Data as Inconvenience Store takes place.
Inconvenience Store is the charming result of a moment in someone else’s life that is less than ideal. Smol Data shows us on this half hour album that even though she is in a less than desirable moment in her life, she is able to step back and create something that people can have a good time with, while showcasing the flaws she sees in pockets of her world. It’s the type of album that could only be made by someone who isn’t afraid to look back and laugh at the depression and failure that she feels at this moment.
Favorite Tracks: Cartoon Str8 Ppl, Salaried!, Last Call Indie Darling
Least Favorite Track: Emotional Labor Day
Listen to the track 'Cartoon Str8 Ppl', from Smol Data's latest record, Inconvenience Store, below: