“The Living End”: Inside Sarah and the Sundays’ Radiant & Soaring Sophomore Album

Sarah and the Sundays © 2021
Sarah and the Sundays © 2021
Achingly honest and emotionally charged, Sarah and the Sundays’ sophomore album ‘The Living End’ is a radiant and defining musical journey brimming with energy, passion, personal growth, and indie charm.
for fans of Mt. Joy, Vampire Weekend, The Happy Fits, Bad Suns, Vista Kicks
Stream: “I’m So Bored” – Sarah and the Sundays




The journey of the band has been leading to this; it’s definitely not our final work, but it feels like our “living end.”

A good-natured rock n’ roll band with a flare for the cinematic and sincere, Sarah and the Sundays excel at groovy, angsty goodness. Achingly honest and emotionally charged, the band’s sophomore album The Living End is a radiant and defining musical journey brimming with energy, passion, personal growth, and indie charm.

The Living End - Sarah and the Sundays
The Living End – Sarah and the Sundays
I’m so bored, I’m sick of all the waiting
Some sick hallucination
Is telling me go overboard
Don’t overcomplicate it
No use in using patience
You’re telling me
Oh you’re telling me
No way get me out
I’m not spending the year doing laps in the house
Don’t tell me what to do when there’s nothing around
Doesn’t really matter but I’m sick of the sound
Oh hey, how’ve you been?
How’d you spend your time cooped up in the den?
I haven’t seen the sun since the last time you saw me
Remember when we used to do whatever we wanted?
I’m So Bored,” Sarah and the Sundays

Independently released October 15, 2021, The Living End is a statement of heart, soul, and artistic intent. Sarah and the Sundays’ second full-length effort – following 2019’s acclaimed debut, So You’re Mad About the Cups – finds the five-piece from Connecticut relocated Austin, Texas, and more sure of themselves (and their sound) than ever. The band consisting of Miles McCarthy-Reynolds, Quinn Lane, Liam Yorgensen, Brendan Whyburn, and Declan Chill come to life on a 14-track collection that rises to great heights, falls to stirring lows, dives into the depths of lived experience, and spills its soul time and again – not just for entertainment purposes, but because it helps to get those feelings off the chest and out in song.

Sarah and the Sundays © 2021
Sarah and the Sundays © 2021



Truly, this is a record of reckoning, reflection, and catharsis.

“The story of this album is really just the story of us moving out of Connecticut to Austin together and sharing our love for music, whether it be making it or hearing it! We’ve spent our time locked up in our house the past couple years really trying to make something special, so we hope the journey really comes through in the music!” lead singer Liam Yorgensen tells Atwood Magazine.

“This album came together pretty organically through changing the direction of the band. After finishing So You’re Mad About The Cups, we wanted to take the band in a stronger direction as a whole. We started playing more live after moving to Austin together which really strengthened our musicianship and relationship as a band. This was really what we wanted to highlight on this record. Some of the songs were starting to solidify before covid, but the album really was flushed out while we were all in lockdown together. We spent a lot of time playing the album and making demos before going to record the final product in Nashville, where Soren and Paulie elevated that preexisting vision to its full potential.”

I’m in control again
I can’t believe the honesty
And honestly I don’t believe the words that I’ve been hollering
But I’m not ready, I’m not whole
Step back when you’re ready to go
I’m here for the show
You should be here for the show
Do you remember when I said I was moving on?
Yeah, just forget it
Do you remember how my life just went to shit
Because I let it?




For Yorgensen, these songs mark the band’s defining moment, finding them coming together (while living together) to hone their skills and carve out a space in the indie rock canon that is theirs and theirs alone. “This album is our introduction as a full five-piece band, and after moving into the same house and playing together a lot, we realized we wanted our sound to come through the same way we feel it does when we play live,” he explains. “We all come from varying backgrounds musically, so each of us feels we bring something different to the table as live artists and we really wanted to capture that on The Living End.”

The album’s title also holds special significance to the quintet: “This phrase became very meaningful in our lives after we all moved in together as a band. It means the utmost in any situation, and we really put everything we had into this album. It became our whole lives throughout the pandemic and has been the most impactful part of our time together. The journey of the band has been leading to this; it’s definitely not our final work, but it feels like our “living end.”

Reminiscent of bands like Mt. Joy, The Happy Fits, Vista Kicks, Bad Suns, and even Vampire Weekend at times, Sarah and the Sundays are fun, groove-loving, melodically-inclined, and harmonically-rich. Warm storytelling vocals lie front and center in many of The Living End’s songs, but the group aren’t afraid of lingering in a sweet guitar instrumental that dips, ducks, dives, dodges, and soars this way and that.

Sarah and the Sundays © 2021
Sarah and the Sundays © 2021



“The record for us represents everything we’ve been working towards for the past few years, and throughout that time there have been so many amazing opportunities and experiences we’ve had, but the most meaningful experience that has come from this album has to be the process of recording it in the studio,” Yorgensen says. “It gave us the opportunity to come together as a band and give all the love to the music and each other that we wanted to be represented on the album. It was an iconic time of us all sleeping in the same shitty basement airbnb and spending 12-hour days in the home studio of the amazing Soren Hansen. We recorded a song a day in the order of the album and all came together to make each one a representation of who we were as a team.”

Hand searches for the window, I wanna get the fuck out of here
Man searches for the widow, He just wants to disappear
Hold my hand, hold me down
Hold your breath ‘til I come around
I’m not kidding this time
Hold on tight, keep me safe
I know you’re worried but it’s not too late
Too late, it’s not too late
I’m running from the sunset
I’m scared of the dark again
I’m thinking that you’re upset
But I don’t wanna talk again
– “You Might Not See Me Again,” Sarah and the Sundays

Highlights abound throughout The Living End, with bookends “Coward” (following the 47-second opener “For Harry”) and closer “The Living End” setting the course for the exhilarating sonic adventure within. Singles like the dramatic, youthful outcry “I’m So Bored” and churning overhaul “Vices” are easy and obvious favorites, as are so-called deeper cuts like the sweet, sun-kissed “You Might Not See Me Again,” the earnest “Pulling Teeth” (with its effervescent guitar wor), and the bubbly jam “Are You Really Gonna Show Up Tonight.” Cuts from the band’s four-track Half Way Home EP, including “Miss Mary” and “Veneer,” reappear on the LP – winning us over with that charismatic feel-good indie rock warmth Sarah and the Sundays have so thoughtfully and tenderly developed.

I think the lyric I am most proud of comes from the second verse of ‘Miss Mary,’” Yorgensen reflects on the topic of his own favorite moments. “I say, ‘I’m in control again, I can’t believe the honesty, and honestly I don’t believe the words that I’ve been hollering.’ This line perfectly represents how I was feeling at the time, and above all I just really like the way it sounds.”

I’m in control again
I can’t believe the honesty
And honestly I don’t believe the words that I’ve been hollering
But I’m not ready, I’m not whole
Step back when you’re ready to go
I’m here for the show
You should be here for the show
Do you remember when I said I was moving on?
Yeah, just forget it
Do you remember how my life just went to shit
Because I let it?




Whether you’re in it for the anthemic guitar solos, the irresistible beats, or the alluring harmony-laden choruses, Sarah and the Sundays promise a captivating time for all.

“I think we really just want listeners to walk away from this LP feeling like they just went on a journey,” Yorgensen says. “This album really encapsulates our growth over the last couple of years, so releasing it and getting a ton of amazing feedback has been very cathartic. We’re all looking to be heard and understood, so it’s been such a blessing for us to get some of that through this album.” Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Sarah and the Sundays’ The Living End with Atwood Magazine as the band goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their dynamic,   sophomore LP!

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:: stream/purchase Sarah and the Sundays here ::
Stream: ‘The Living End’ – Sarah and the Sundays



:: Inside The Living End ::

The Living End - Sarah and the Sundays

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For Harry

The intro track is dedicated to our late cat Harry; it always seemed to be his favorite. When we began composing the album, we would play this song first and Harry would walk into our practice space and listen.

Coward

Coward is about the taking mind altering chemicals, and the uncertainty and self-realization of the aftermath. The line “If I could I’d drown for hours” was the first line written for the song, and it came from a two line poem Liam wrote in college about his favorite place on Earth. He chose the shower, and said “I’ve always loved the shower, if it wasn’t such a waste I’d drown myself for hours.”

I’m So Bored

I’m So Bored is a total quarantine song. We wrote it only a few weeks into the lockdown, not knowing how relevant it would remain to us for so long. This song stayed more true to the original demo than any other song on the album.

Vices

Vices is a song about growth, change, and loss. It was the first song we recorded in a studio, way back in September of 2019. We met a producer Soren Hansen in Nashville and visited his home studio for a day. Vices was the song we were working on at the time, so we recorded it and it blew us away how great Soren made it sound. Soren ended up co-producing The Living End.



Masquerade

Masquerade was the first track written in full for The Living End. Liam wrote it sitting on the floor of his parent’s basement in summer of 2019. The song changed quite a bit from its original demo form.

You Might Not See Me Again

Liam wrote the first line of this song while in the shower. He immediately turned the shower off, got out, and made a demo. We were really focusing on making this track sound both live and alive, from the tempo speed up in the intro to the keys jangling the whole way through.

Veneer

We originally tracked a version of the song in Austin with the legendary Frenchie Smith, but decided that we hadn’t quite captured it’s essence that day in the studio. Fast forward a few months and we’re in Nashville recording a new version of the song. After an hour of trying to track the lead vocal, we decided that the song would sound better moved up a whole-step. So we scrapped everything but the drums and re-recorded it all in the new key, which was exactly what it ended up needing.



Miss Mary

We had been playing this song for a little while before the world shut down. It was one of our favorites to play live but as we sat with it for the first couple weeks of the quarantine, we started to get sick of the chorus. So, we ended up scrapping it and writing a new one. At this point, we couldn’t really imagine the song with the old chorus.



Time Well Wasted

Time Well Wasted is the slowest song on the album. We always have a little trouble keeping the song that slow when we play it live.

Stick Around

Stick around is the fastest song on the album, though it doesn’t necessarily feel like it. It’s definitely one of the most difficult songs for me (Liam) to play live, as layering the vocal over the strumming pattern is quite tricky.

Take Your Time

Take your time is a song about quitting bad habits, in our case cigarettes. It was meant to be fun, a bit sarcastic, and all around a good vibe, while still aiming to be a comfort song for those in a similar situation.



Pulling Teeth

As a revival of one of the first songs we ever made, Pulling Teeth already held a special place in our hearts. Originally, we were just spending time figuring out how to make interesting live renditions of our first album. The new version of Pulling Teeth became an instant favorite in our live set, so we just had to put it on the album.

The Living End

The Living End was written about moving from Connecticut to Texas, and saying goodbye to the life we had in search of a new one. It felt symbolic of the past two years of our lives, and the phrase “the living end”, meaning the utmost in any situation, describes how we feel about the effort and love we put into this album.

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:: stream/purchase Sarah and the Sundays here ::



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The Living End - Sarah and the Sundays

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