The bitter truth about romantic comedies is that we never see what happens after the credits roll. Logically and through experience, we know that the fairytale relationship probably doesn’t last. Communication breaks down, people change, inexplicably drift apart. But for a few hours, we take comfort in the naïveté, in believing that love lasts forever and we’re not all going to end up alone. Romantic Comedies, Foozle’s sophomore album, is populated with stories about love after the fade to black — nothing so grand as to be worthy of a movie, but the kind of comfort and complacency and deep feeling that comes from real-life love.
On their 2013 debut, Everything’s Casual, the Maryland-based trio — which is made up of Jake Lazovick (Sitcom), Joanna Smith, and Ryan Witt (Go Cozy, UVF Rays) — were a little more optimistic. It was filled with bleary but life-affirming pop-punk that still placed faith in the big expectations that society sets up for us about how great life will be and where it will take us. Romantic Comedies is more mature and grounded, which means it’s a bit more world-weary. But Foozle spin that weariness into tenuous stability. They’re bored, but not unhappy; disaffected but not shut off from the world.
The lyrics to “Nice Day” amount to nothing more than a list of the minutiae from a single day, but Lazovick sings with a conviction that makes it feel like he’s spilling breathless secrets. “It was such a nice day outside/ I sat down inside/ My room has a nice view.” He may be disconnected from the main event, but he still appreciates the beauty of it from a distance. Not every moment is a revelation; in fact, most moments are just plain boring, and it’s in those that we end up spending most of our time. But Foozle have a way of making that boredom almost enticing — or, if not that, then at least tolerable.
“Sofa Couch” is a wandering deconstruction of one of those moments, this one spent in the company of the person that you love. “In a photograph we are drunk on the apartment floor/ And I have a flashback to laughing in your bed/ You were laughing as you hid my hat behind your back/ I was laughing as I tried to get my hat back.” It goes on like this, a studied remembrance of a single instant that felt comfortable and right. The carefully built-up narrative only makes the kicker hurt all the more: “I don’t want to move my body, but I should be moving on from you.”
Foozle’s music has slowed down to meet the languid pace of everyday life; their songs sag and meander, take deep breaths and elongated sighs. “For now, I’ll lay in bed forever, tucked under the covers,” they sing on one. “The only thing I got excited about recently was the stoplight as it turned from red to green,” on another. That sort of jaded and desensitized attitude can get frustrating when it becomes a way to drag down other people around you, but it’s clear Foozle treat boredom the same way they do love. It’s about appreciating the little moments — there are no grand gestures, no romantic comedies. Love and life isn’t like that. Most of it is a buildup of small and simple things — laughs and brief moments of comfort in between the waiting around.
The best we can hope for, and maybe the best we deserve, is someone who wants to spend those uneventful moments with you: “On the days when I’m so tired I can’t speak, you know how to look so I don’t have to,” Smith sings on the penultimate track “Winston.” “I’m feeling so lazy lately, but that’s okay because I got you.” That sentiment is followed up by a hollowed-out acoustic coda, named after the infamous shrugging man: “I don’t believe in love no more, and I don’t believe in the west/ Just like I did when I was still naïve, and I wish I could be again.” OK, so maybe love doesn’t last forever, but the real thing is a whole lot less dramatic than what’s in the movies.
Listen to the full album below.