Many bands take strong directions a few releases in to change their sound or try something new. Most times, it pays off. There’s a chance to run stale and become too routine in content or sound. In previous records, Spanish Love Songs created a feeling of a magnifying glass on one person, whereas Brave Faces, Everyone is a magnifying glass on a generation. And not only that but a reminder that life is going to try and kick your teeth in (constantly) some days worse than others. Remind yourself to keep moving because the foot is going to miss.
‘Routine pain’ starts off the album. The first words spoken on the album are, “On any given day, I’m a 6 of 10,” which gives a strong emotional sense of the record right off the bat. We are not perfect, but above average. The pulsing and emotional track carries strong and opens the door for you for the ride you’re about to take.
‘Generational loss’ is another heavily emotional track – a rallying cry for those who have lost individuals in their lives or feel less than adequate. Part of the chorus that you will find yourself screaming along to – “We throw a pill down our throats, or ourselves into the ocean, ’cause half our friends are dead; the other half are depressed” – is deeply resonating. The balance of anger and hope found in much of this track makes it stand tall among many strong tracks on the record.
‘Losers’ hits you in the chest with a chorus that will stick in your head after the track ends. With something relatable that many individuals have thought but never said – “And my bleak mind says it’s cheaper just to die, the prick inside my head’s laid off and daring me to try, my bleak mind says this is all you get, hoping all this time, but all you’ll find is: it gets harder, doesn’t it? It gets harder, doesn’t it?”
‘Losers pt. 2’ continues the personal examination but also takes that magnifying glass and points it outward. The state of the world is fragile, and we are a representation of that. “So I’m leaving the city; maybe the country; maybe the earth, gonna find a place of my own, where the fuckups aren’t cops, patrolling neighbourhoods they’re afraid of, and the rest of us won’t burn out, displacing locals from neighbourhoods we’re afraid of.”
The title track, ‘Brave Faces, Everyone’ is a perfect bookend to the record, carrying relatable lyrics such as, “Still paying off a good idea from when I was 23, a life spent living off loans,” and “Running through jobs I’m gonna hate, living paycheck to paycheck like my parents, and their parents, and their parents before them.”
The callbacks to the rest of the record are done with such ease in one of the last verses that you find yourself feeling nostalgic for the record you just listened to. “Because we’re just so fucking tired. If you’re not okay, they’re praying for you; I’m tired anyway, brave faces everyone, just let me ruin my guts tonight, I’m feeling lower than anyone; it can’t be this bleak forever, pointing out dead dogs on the road, I’m tired anyway, this is all you get, hoping all this time but all you find.”
What Spanish Love Songs have created is a stream of thought that resonates with almost anyone. There are not-so-subtle fingers pointed at political aspects of culture right now, but the same fingers are also pointed at how a late 20/30-something-year-old is thinking about themselves and the world around them.