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From the very first line of Adult Mom's debut album, Momentary Lapse of Happily, it's clear Steph Knipe is cutting straight through the bullshit. In fact, the entirety of the introductory track, 'Be Your Own 3am' sets the tone for the whole LP with a suitably downbeat, melancholic moment of introspection. Immediately intimate, the regretful musings are delivered with confident authenticity over simple, slow guitar picking that's instantly affecting. But the raw forlorn intimacy quickly gives way to a fuller, more ethereal beat; the move away from dreary gloomy indulgence signifying a change in mood more concerned with the small moments of hope that come during the worst instances of doubt and uncertainty. A sentiment which comes to define the entirety of Adult Mom's stunning debut.

As Knipe bares their soul over quiet interludes, the songs themselves - while appearing rather unassuming at first - have a knack for offsetting deep poignant moments of reflection with fleeting everyday observations. There are large topics and themes covered on the album, but Adult Mom distils issues of identity and queerness down to their rawest parts, delivering a messy, uncertain, but nevertheless honest, interrogation of each. Not everything has a clear-cut answer or reason, and Adult Mom revels in the opaque and the grey. No one really knows what they're doing, but that's okay - we're all only along for the ride anyway.

At its most hopeful, Adult Mom's album sounds more like a scribbled note to self, a much-needed pat on the back rather than a grand politically-charged statement that you might expect to see when issues of sexuality and identity are on display. Instead, the small victories are cherished. "I guess success is finding a seat on a crowded subway," Knipe sings on one of the album's most infectious tracks, 'What's Another Lipstick Mark?' The clean, simple melody that accompanies one of the album's only, ahem, momentary lapse of happiness serves to remind you how powerful even the most unassuming day to day win can be. It's another case of large, resounding personal revelations being delivered in the context of the ordinary relatable every day, and it's a prime example of why Knipe's music resonates so deeply.

The music itself is simple but it would be a crime to misconstrue Adult Mom's sound as basic or uninspired. The melodies and progressions remain admittedly similar throughout, yet each song is stamped with their own defining atmosphere and tone through subtle changes in the sound. Fuelled on catchy folky electronica, Adult Mom's first major release retains the distinctive lo-fi indie sensibility of the band's previous EPs. Yet Momentary Lapse of Happily's production feels tighter, more polished in way that doesn't result in any loss of personality on the record. For all the morose lyrics and content, you get the sense that there's a passionate, energetic vitality that goes into creating each and every song, and the home-brewed production embellishes the honesty and character inherent to Adult Mom's whole music philosophy.

Likewise lyrics that might have felt disingenuous or cliché are given new life on this record. Adult Mom reflects on sentiments we've all heard before, but reframes them from a refreshingly frank perspective. Knipe delivers each biting exchange with an almost passive weariness, hushing out lines like "you cut out my insides and I'll hide the knife," with a weirdly endearing sense of joyful indifference. There's an infectious non-committal optimism behind the lyrics, a reminder that all feelings are valid in the moment, and being a little self-absorbed once in a while isn't anything to be ashamed of. It's kind of comforting actually; there's a power and drive to every sharp personal tale Knipe sings over, and it transforms familiar topics into novel experiences that come across as genuinely refreshing and engaging.

At only 30 minutes, Adult Mom's debut album is a tour de force of charming anecdotal revelations, each track a self-contained snapshot of fleeting intimate moments that never overstay their welcome. Knipe rattles back and forth between their most vulnerable experiences with a casual despondency; the confusions of sexuality, the hardships of being comfortable with yourself and the frustrations of hindsight are brought to life over 13 soft - but always cuttingly direct - scrapbook entries. Its predilections and confident approach to queerness is immensely noble and remains at the very heart of the whole project, but you don't have to be queer to relate to Adult Mom - you just have to be human.

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