Couchsleepers - “All the Best Intentions”
Review by Abby Kenna
“All the Best Intentions” by Couchsleepers is the sonic encapsulation of an adrenaline rush. Lush indie-rock textures, masterful drops, and vulnerable lyrics meld together to make this song a vivid, electrifying hit.
“All the Best Intentions” opens with immediate energy, a guitar riff introducing the track with a surge of attitude. The crunchy guitar sound gives the song that edge of gritty 90s grunge, while the bright overlaying textures and driving drums to have the perfect pop of indie rock energy. With almost a touch of southern-rock flair, an organ wails under the guitars, filling the track with a rich burst of harmony. As the verse begins, the arrangement pulls back, isolating the vocals with just muted bass and sharp, restrained drums. Subtle guitar ad-libs add touches of rhythm between vocal phrases, building tension as layers of harmonies envelope the lead vocals and synths begin to color the developing track. The lyrics feign indifference, yet the pointed and vulnerable vocal delivery of Harrison Wood Hsiang (the voice behind Couchsleepers) exposes the desire behind the words:
“What were the last words that I told you?
Something cruel as usual
I just wanna see that you still care.”
With an explosive launch off of the pre-chorus, the chorus hits with a wall of energy and a myriad of colorful textures. When the arrangement drops out at the end of “by the time I get through”, delaying the drop on “through”, you can almost see the crowds screaming the lyrics back at a packed concert. “All the Best Intentions” just feels good, with the layers of lively background vocals soaring over the bright, full organ and guitar melodies. As the stop time repeats at the end of the chorus, listeners relive that lively drop time after time, getting to bask in the rays of the indie-pop brilliance. That burst of energy and condensed satisfaction that comes from impulsivity is tangible in the colorful rush of sound, depicting the lyrics’ abandonment of all self-control:
“What's the worst one more could do?
And I bet you're gonna miss me too…”
Using the repetition of “by the time that I’m through” to segue into a more introspective post-chorus, Couchsleepers leaves the chorus on an unresolved, enthralling note.
“All the Best Intentions” is a rush of adrenaline, a moment of pure bliss captured in sound. Couchsleepers writes with an artful blend of instrumentation, painting the message of “All the Best Intentions” in bright, bold colors, and ultimately creating a song that demands to be heard.
A soundtrack for restless nights. Couchsleepers was formed by neuroscientist & songwriter Harrison Wood Hsiang, uniting under a single name a sprawling collective of musicians and artists. The band made its debut with the nine-track Only When It’s Dark in 2019. On the road, Hsiang is joined by frequent collaborators Mike Nunziante, Brendan Ronan, Max Shashoua, and Gloria Breck.
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