Brooklyn-based Worriers’ music feels like a CliffsNotes of millennial problems that can sometimes feel a bit too real. If 2017’s Survival Pop was a guide to the exploration and affirmation of gender and other identities in its multiplicity, You or Someone You Know is a sequel that tackles the mirror maze of existence, bad decisions and exhaustion. Lead singer Lauren Denitzio has always treated their music as a diary of some sort, but this time, the listener gets handed the pen to let their lived experience exist in Denitzio’s lyrics.
That’s what makes Worriers so charming: They create unabashedly feel-good pop-punk jams that enhance, not veil, oftentimes heartbreaking experiences. “End Of The World,” You or Someone You Know’s explosive opener, is a grand display of triumphant guitar riffs and heart-stopping drums with Denitzio’s voice barely creeping above a conversational tone to tell the story of building their dream life and the subsequent intrusive thoughts of losing it all in a second. “We could have a space in a house by the sea / Yeah that sure sounds nice, but what about when the hurricane hits?” they sing as the chorus interjects like a wave of regret and guilt. Denitzio expresses poignant millennial fears we never talk about, perfectly expressed in the lyric “How do you plan for the death of a safety net?”
Worriers take us through tumultuous and very unsexy moments of adulthood that can only be fully understood by countless sleepless nights, long showers and awkward social gatherings. “PWR CPLE” tells of charismatic partners behind closed doors, with Denitzio crooning “I love the person you are to everyone else.”
You or Someone You Know is full of quotes that would fit well on a comfortably worn-out t-shirt, which speaks to Denitzio’s uncanny ability to extrapolate every bit of internal monologue, external dialogue and atmosphere of even the most mundane situations to the point where it almost feels strangely voyeuristic. They, via perfectly lackadaisical vocals, understand when to punctuate, like on the pre-chorus of “PWR CPLE”: “You said we’re a dream team / Get away from me.” That “get away from me,” which is followed by a triumphant guitar solo, sounds like frustration with a tinge of heartbreak. It’s reminiscent of The Gaslight Anthem’s sometimes cheesy but always satisfying riffs that could make Springsteen crack a smile.
Denitzio’s heart isn’t just on their sleeve: It’s available to inspect, touch and engage with on You or Somebody You Know’s museum of millennial feelings. “Enough” opens with the line “Tired of being first place but second best / You think that by now I’d be used to it.” But, much like on 2017’s Survival Pop, these feelings aren’t allowed to dwell, and Denitzio’s wonderfully layered harmonies respond with “I hope you hear my name.” While the instrumentation doesn’t deviate too much from the realm of power-pop and punk throughout the album, it never gets boring. Even the more relaxed tracks like “Terrible Boyfriend, a heart-wrenching tale of the self-consciousness that comes with the already hyper-visible identity of queerness, feel like a welcome sigh of relief rather than one that assumes listeners are losing interest.
You or Someone You Know allows you to get comfortable rather than trying too hard to defy expectations. It’s a reminder that with adulthood comes fear, insecurity and heartbreak, but it’ll all be okay.
Revisit Worriers’ 2017 Paste session: