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Sad Kids Having Fun by End of Proof

Do you remember the feeling you had when you returned to your hometown, after a long absence? You walked past your old house. Maybe, like me, you slowed down, discreetly looking in the front window as you passed by. Who lives there now? Who is in my old room, and are they like me? Maybe you visited some old special places, like that newspaper box you used to hide in with your best friend, or the skate park you spent too many hours at (doing not that much skating, actually, in retrospect).

And what if you ventured ten years into a professional career, and then began measuring it all against your questions about meaning and legacy? Would you step out of the momentum of that trajectory? Hit a hard stop, and make that album you always hoped you would?

I think I’m equally as curious about Jon H. Nilsson‘s personal journey as a musician, as I am attracted to this fun, nostalgic piece of alt-rock he’s put out through his project End of Proof. The song title encapsulates it all: Sad Kids Having Fun. It really sounds and feels like that. It’s simple and inviting with warm, fuzzy rock guitars dipping into some heavier edges at times, and then pulling back into softer, more vulnerable spaces. And triplets. I love triplets. The song keeps moving and changing in its progressions. I really do feel like I’m following a stream of memories, turning into new corners with the changing guitar expressions or percussion choices.

Perhaps it’s the vocal work, though, that really gives the song a sense of nostalgia, of looking backward. The group backup vocals are distant, ambient, almost like a hum of memories and sensations. The lyrics are engaging in their simple, storytelling narrative and imagery. It’s a guy. With his guitar. Thinking about his life, and allowing you to listen.

If I’ve piqued your curiosity, you can check out End of Proof‘s album To Madness (released October 23, 2020). The album is described as “the story of how love can go from infatuation to the limit of madness, and describes Jon H. Nilsson’s journey into music. ” You’ll likely get both a good story and some kick-ass Indie Rock all in the same sitting.