Short Fictions recently released their Lauren Records debut, Every Moment of Every Day. Where the group’s last album wended its way toward climate catastrophe, this one takes a direct route to depressed pop euphoria.
When I first moved to Pittsburgh, I lived in an overpriced one-bedroom in South Oakland, a few blocks off Forbes Ave. I’d work all day and into the night at my first real job, then walk back and hang out with my cat for an hour before going to bed and doing it again the next day. Once a week, I’d try (and fail at) trivia at Gene’s, a dive bar a few hundred feet down the street. Before finally caving and overpaying for a parking spot, I’d squeeze my car alongside a semi-illegal section of curb a mile from my place. The house behind my building would start partying midway through Tuesday and keep it going until the next Monday morning. Exhaustion, money worries, noise, the dawning recognition that being an adult isn’t all that great–that’s my South Oakland.
Short Fictions’s South Oakland is a bit different. It’s a collection of crowded basement shows where a kiss on the cheek from a certain someone might ignite days, months, years(?) of wistful longing. It’s also a slum where people languish and die alone while their friends move away. The band’s high-stakes South Oakland is sketched out musically by way of bittersweet keyboard riffs, driving drums, belted vocals, swells of brass, and lightning-strike guitar breaks. It’s a neighborhood you’ll want to visit (maybe not forever, though), if you manage to steer clear of the construction.