“Learning How to Talk”: An Achingly Beautiful Discovery of What it Means to Be Human


Kansas City based indie rock based band Mess has recently released their latest masterpiece in the form of a debut album entitled “Learning How to Talk”.  The album delves into the depths of the human persona and its ability to interact with and process trauma and how that processing, or lack thereof, can affect the way we function and form relationships after the fact.  The album’s overall sound alone is painfully and tragically beautiful. The soft guitars and drums flow from one track to the next in a way that makes listening to the album as a whole feel like some type of ethereal experience.  There are tracks like “Becoming” and “Body Parts” that seem to wrap their gentle melodies around your mind like ribbons, they just feel light and pretty.

Though the band clearly knows their way around emotionally complex instrumentals, they don’t stray from somewhat quicker, heavier tempos such as in “Cave”, the album’s lead single.  Cave draws in strong instrumentals with equally strong vocals, which together deliver the song’s tone simply through their sound before the lyrics even come into play.

While the base sounds speak for themselves on this album, Mess weaves divinely striking lyrics into “Learning How to Talk” as well.  In one of my personal favorite tracks from the album, Body Parts, the song calmly delivers the line “I know that I’m a morbid bed to sleep in every night, I’m nothing close to what I said and I can’t look you in the eyes”.  One line can’t speak for the complexity and depth of an entire album, but it can show you just how capable the band is of reaching those passionate and poignant lyrical peaks. I can’t seem to shake this metaphor of a “morbid bed” as it encapsulates the anxiety that comes from not knowing what your significant other or the other person in any of your relationships is thinking or how they feel about you.  You think you know what you are and what they think, but there’s always uncertainty, so we’re forced to jump to conclusions, try to figure ourselves out, and it’s absolutely terrifying.

“Learning How to Talk” is an album that doesn’t seem to quit, it lingers in your mind and buries itself in your heart for a rainy day.  If this album is a sign of things to come, I can’t wait to see what Mess does next. Check out Mess’s new album “Learning How to Talk” below!