Slum Sociable’s self-titled debut LP was originally scheduled to drop in October, but Miller Upchurch, one half of Slum Sociable, soon realized his depression didn’t allow for such a timeline. He told those around him that his mental health was a full-time job, which meant that the music would have to wait.
Now, Upchurch and Edward Cregan Quinn are ready for their debut to drop officially on Friday (Nov. 24), but the full record is available to stream here today (Nov. 22) exclusively on Billboard.
“You wake up in the morning stressed about nothing,” Upchurch wrote in a personal essay published by Huffington Post last month. “You get tired by midday because it’s exhausting to fight yourself on every topic you think about, meticulously pick apart how your social interactions went and stop yourself from zoning out of conversations. Sometimes just keeping your head above water is the best you can do. It’s very important to, as hard as it sounds, organize yourself around your mental health.”
“This album is, above all, the product of a friendship,” Quinn tells Billboard. “Whilst the project initially started as university project, the songs written after that period, which would end up becoming the first songs for this album, were at a time when I had lost someone very important to me. We weren’t signed. We had no management. There were no other aspirations than to make music because it was the only thing that I felt like doing at that time.”
Quinn also shared that in the 18 months since his own loss, Miller himself endured difficult times. “The roles were reversed,” he relates. “I was there to help Miller through his difficult period through music. Sometimes it’s easier to make music than to talk about the shit that you’re going through.”
The music itself features long, luring synth beats and guitar solos to slowly ease you into blunt-force lyrics laced throughout the album. On “Keep Up With It” they sing: “Can’t really be sure if it’s better now than then,” while on “Outrunner” they grapple with wanting two separate things: “I want to spend time alone but don’t wanna go without someone.” Fortunately, Quinn and Miller had each other.
Stream Slum Sociable (Liberation Records) below.