Upon first hearing the beautiful baritone voice of Spring Breakup’s Mathias Korn alongside the wispy soprano of partner Kim Barlow, I was swayed into their folksy charm about the inevitable pitfalls of love. The charm turned to confusion when I heard the lyrics, “That’s just the affect you have on women / They’re just all too shy to talk to you / Honest, you’re an Adonis / And you’re pretty clever too,” off opening track “The Effect I have on Women.” Is the record a joke? A musical comedy exploit? Or was it an honest and highly descriptive account of the member’s love lives?
Delving deeper, It’s Not You, It’s Me revealed itself as both. It is jest and it is just. It’s
Leonard Cohen playing with Flight of the Conchords, or The Velvet Underground jamming with Sarah Silverman. It is something that seems impossible and almost pointless and yet, is funny, captivating and interesting.
The pair compliments each other well—they seem to have the same stance on humour, especially in regards to bizarre lyrics like “I’m sorry that I tried to punch you in the face,” which also comes off the title track. The songs are always funny, but tinged with dark wit and morbidity as opposed to obvious side-splitters ––they’re more Wes Anderson than Judd Apatow.
Spring Breakup may spend most of the album experimenting with lyrical puns, awkward sincerity and hilariously blunt descriptions—“Like that time I got drunk and hit on your sister / Well, she just looked so much like you,” from “I Never”— but the candor of their humour never seeps over to their instruments. The classic folk sounds—guitars, banjos, and ukuleles—are effortless and beautiful, making the artistry of the album even more unique. Spring Breakup is a great companion––one that’s beautiful and funny, but also clever and witty––and should be taken with humility and curiosity and above all hilarity.