I Am By Day is the new album by Glasgow-based band Sister John. It is their third and follows on from their successful self-titled release in 2019. The tracks weave together layers for a sophisticated and intimate soundscape.
As an indie rock album, I Am By Day does everything it can to escape the trappings of the genre. The guitar riffs and bass lines are all very swoony but it’s the crunchiness of some of the melodies that remind you what rock and roll is. The inspirations are unmistakably clear at times yet at the same time there’s a lo-fi edge to the band’s folk sound. At times the synths add icing to a cake that was already very tasty.
Masterfully produced, the layering of each instrument creates an almost ethereal soundscape. It’s nigh impossible not to sway to these tracks. With a distinct sound the album has a great variety. Something like What I Want stands well out from the rest with its heavy electronic sound and repetitive, hypnotic vocals while at the same time the guitar riffs are still there. On the other hand, lead single How Can I Keep It Alive is a fantastic tour de force of indie rock with cracking solos.
One of the most praiseworthy aspects of Sister John is their vocals. Singer-songwriter Amanda McKeown shines front and centre here. With an already woozy yet clean instrumental sound, McKeown’s lyrics and performance elevates the album to that next level. The vocal range is layered very well into the songs, adding another aspect to this tapestry of an album. At times moving but always honest, I Am By Day is a collection of tracks worth listening to as much as dancing to.
Sister John have lived up to the hype that their previous work created. I Am By Day is a fantastic indie rock album well worth the listen to.