Sea Lion – “If My Baby”

Linn Osterberg works in the margins, laboring over a slow, quiet note on a larger story. Her debut album as Sea Lion is called Desolate Stars, and it is a body of work concerned not so much with remote pinpricks of light as with all the vast, dark space between these bright points. Toward the end of “If My Baby,” Osterberg coos and howls with the wild uncertainty of an infant, natural yelps of confusion that magnify how delicately constructed the first half is. For her part, Osterberg describes the song through the lens of her own struggle with boundaries:

If my baby is a sort of low key pop song. It’s about love that is not unrequited but still feels like it, about unrealistic expectations and not knowing where to draw the line between dreaming and living ordinary life. It’s a song for everybody that has ever left a relationship being more in love than ever.

“If you don’t ever hold me down / Why we wasting time, baby?” Osterberg sings with gentle, exacting demand. Sometimes a whole relationship pivots on that one unfulfilled “if.” Listen below and check out her other two previously released tracks, “Ghostlands” and “Room.”

Desolate Stars is out 8/28 via Turnstile. Pre-order it here.