Come In album cover
A life-changing gender-bending tour de force from the Bandcamp community's up-and-coming emo noise rock savant.
Young Fenimore Lee | October 24, 2019

All members of the homosexual international - the HOMINTERN - understand metaphorical self-sodomy, being impaled upon one’s own desire; the carillon rings for tragic romance, made two- or three-fold more painful by a persistent tinnitus. Look no further than previous homosexual meditations on the pain of love - Lush by Snail Mail, or Twin Fantasy by Car Seat Headrest. Look upon their works with an Ozymandian fear that crumbles upon its inauguration, the recognition of the fragility of queer existence.

Sputnik is a fellow homosexual. They are a non-binary bisexual Swedish musician of unknown origin - unknown birth gender, unknown family background, etc. - save their identity as the musician behind primary project Weatherday, secondary project Lola’s Pocket PC, and a webcomic that has been removed from the internet pending future recreation. They have a rather ferocious appetite - already, new albums from both projects have been announced - and a penchant for lo-fi production, as their singular microphone (a headphone set’s hands-free mic) can attest to. Come In, Weatherday’s debut album, is a screeching genderbending experience that provides a kaleidoscopic perspective on sexuality and love. And so forth goes the revolution.

From the beginning of this album, the lack of studio sheen is made evident by the dull, piercing, flatly compressed roar that opens “Come In.” That hands-free mic is evidently not equipped enough for Sputnik’s songwriting, with songs whose dimensions spill far over the limited budget. But enough about how lo-fi this album is. The sounds are astounding, and clipping cannot contain Sputnik’s creativity. Great feats of Garageband acrobatics crowd the scene. The transition at 8:08 of “My Sputnik Sweetheart,” where a choral interlude ends via the audio feedback itself panning from right to left and fizzling out. The tumbling timpani percussion throughout the amorphous soundscape behind “Embarrassing Paintings (Agatha Showed Great Initiative in Art Class This Week).” The sea of claps that whir past at 1:56 of “Mio, Min Mio” (carried by the wind alongside the words “WAY TO GO!”). There are fuzz tones accomplished through pure microphone distortion. There are large-scale choir arrangements and 8-bit clicks. Or perhaps they are other sounds, accomplished by other sorts of layerings. An ingenious sense of how to accomplish these sounds through low fidelity itself: Sputnik has it all.

What of the multi-gendered performance Sputnik puts on? The genderbending persists throughout the album, most noticably in the third section of “My Sputnik Sweetheart,” when Sputnik switches from the male tenor vocal range of the first 9 minutes to a feminine soprano: “Went along again and I can’t beat myself up enough over it/I can’t please myself so I resort to pleasing you.” And they switch back again, to remind themself, in a masculine tone suddenly, “If you want to come in, it’s okay to…/Remember that it isn’t always your fault.” But who are you? Who is the narrator? Do these gender switches represent different people? Perhaps that’s a mystery that all of androgyny asks themselves ‘til the morning.

The only actual pronoun ever used in the entire album is “she,” never “he.” Why would this be? The perspective constantly changes, randomly moving from third- to second- to first-person, as seen in the lyrics of “Sleep in While You’re Doing Your Best”: “She ran from the concert to be with you/You said it was either then or never/I really had a good time, still I ran to make the bus…/Either that or weather day.” Who are these people? Is the narrator the same “she” referred to in the first line? And what do these phrases signify? “Come in?” “Weatherday?” A clouding around the entrance of a true self? Somehow, the Persona video game voice samplings (“I never thought I’d hear those words coming from you” at the end of “Come In,” and the voice at the beginning of “Agatka”) seem to shine some light on this: the emergence of other selves, the arrival of higher dimensions, the haziness of such perspectives. Self love and homosexual love blending together in glorious harmony. She, he, they, I… Where are the lines, “poorly drawn?” Perhaps they aren’t there after all.

Or perhaps not. Sputnik seems to want these questions to remain mysteries. By providing less, of course, they provide more, as the mystery appears to have partially reignited a DIY fire that has remained nascent for quite some time. I couldn’t be more excited for what the future of Weatherday and Lola’s Pocket PC has to offer. Sputnik, will you be my Sputnik Sweetheart? Your Murakami mysteriousness has this heart on fire for more…

cute drawing here
Young Fenimore Lee
Pictured: Henry, his pet Jellybone

Young is the child of two Korean musicians and was born and raised in the Chicago metropolitan area. They identify as queer and non-binary. They’re currently going through emocore/screamo essentials, and they love indie rock, indie folk, emo, post-hardcore, and math rock. Feel free to take a look at their rateyourmusic account, their, and this collage of the 100 albums they consider most personally important.