TAPE TOY singer Roos has only one thing to declare on the Dutch band’s latest single: she’s ‘Tired’. Examining a challenging relationship that’s culminated in a brutal breakup, the singer finds herself “so tired/Of waking up sad”. The Amsterdam-based band solidly expresses relatable pain without sounding melancholy. It’s an excellent track and fans of Beach Bunny and Mitski will appreciate TAPE TOY’s ability to match frank lyrics with emotional tones.
The band consists of four members—Roos, Maurice, Wesley, and Marc—that come together to “merge into one incredible force”, and that energy definitely comes through on ‘Tired’. Roos’s straightforward delivery of the lyrics coupled with the band’s freewheeling sound ensure that they seem resigned, yet cheerful. Despite whatever bitterness or sadness the singer may feel toward the ex that’s “ghosted me and left me for dead”, her melodic voice stays steady, leaving the impression that she really is over the way she’s feeling. At one point the singer sounds a bit more hopeful about the relationship’s end, saying “And I’m so glad you left/‘Cause I can breathe again”, but that doesn’t make it easier to “forget/What we had”.
Truly, it’s something clever and electric when a song expresses pain while remaining upbeat. Think of how MARINA tackles fame and depression on ‘Numb’ or how Braids’ Raphaelle bemoans a fickle young lover on ‘Young Buck’—it’s a fine balance that TAPE TOY manages well. During the song’s choruses, the band sings of Roos’ pain together, cradling her vocals with the rest of their own, to the backdrop of a cohesive guitar and cymbal heavy sound. It’s as though the band is experiencing the end of the relationship together. And isn’t that what friends and bandmates are for?
Words by Tunika Onnekikami