Delaney Bailey Wants You to Remember 'What We Leave Behind'
Indie folk singer-songwriter Delaney Bailey strips herself down to her core in her latest EP, what we leave behind. Diving into themes of coming of age, love, and friendship, the five-track body of work is a remarkable and raw look into the artist's psyche, journey into adulthood, and of course, the things we leave behind in the process.
The EP's opener, "bloomington," is an angelic introduction to the world Bailey has so carefully crafted. Rich in ethereal harmonies and led by soft and simplistic guitar riffs, she begins the journey of the record bare and fragile. She sings of someone running from their problems and warning that they can only "hide behind alcohol for so long/ For it becomes a problem," admitting that they "miss who you were."
The following track, the previously released "we were girls together," is a heartfelt ballad that leads with simple chords and raw vocals bound together by tear-inducing lyricism. With mentions of "tequila and card tricks" and "clementines and valentines," Bailey reminisces on a profound female friendship, likening their relationship to Nick and Schmidt from New Girl. (if you know, you know). Standout lines like "I'll be homesick for you" in the gut-punching chorus and "I love you more than any man in my life" in the touching second verse remind listeners that sometimes the most important love of your life is a platonic one.
Throughout the rest of the EP, listeners are transported through the short and heartbreaking world of "elementary school" and the bittersweet sonics of "song for my father" before leading us to the finale, "when i was god." Although the shortest song on the record, it packs a punch and ruminates on the past. She picks apart a former relationship, quipping that maybe if the person she's thinking about will "get high," they'll "stop projecting on the innocent / A girl can dream, right?" She later wonders what she meant to them, eventually comparing herself to a ghost.
what we leave behind is a testament that sometimes less is more. It's a nerve-wracking commitment to have your voice stand-alone and dismiss the veiling full and lush production could provide. Still, Bailey bravely sticks by her craft, goes forth, and doesn't hide, wearing her heart on her sleeve and allowing her lyrics to breathe using subdued instrumentals to accent but not overwhelm her storytelling.
Listen to what we leave behind below: