Thursday, March 25th, 2021

Syd – Missing Out

And now, a blast of pre-Friday FOMO.


Leah Isobel: The arpeggiators and harmonies are hazy and heatsick like mid-August.  Syd wanders through in a daze, leveling self-loathing, disappointment,  despair, and anger into one flat, dry surface; a high chime cuts through  like water, but by the end of the song she still drifts away  unquenched.

Nortey Dowuona: Lilting, tear away synths and chugging synth butter bass lies over limp, flat drums as Syd whispers sweet nothings inside a few ears. Why even attempt to miss you, when you’ll just come around again in a couple months? More cascading vocals slide into the chorus but it’s too little, too late.

Alfred Soto: Languorous like peak Tinashe or Kelani, but their fellow mononym isn’t as shrewd a songwriter and the scratchy voice doesn’t compel on its own.

Frank Falisi: The temptation to lob description at sound is a happy impossible project. We’ve invented a few different languages for it, but even at their best, these tongues miss what sounds most. I wouldn’t want it another way; I like the way sounds articulate themselves best. Maybe one alternative theory of sound describing moves away from metaphorizing (this is that) and towards instead catalyzing it: what’s the temperature? If a song sits or holds, is it touchable? Is want hot and kiss-off cold? Syd’s “Missing Out” arpeggiates the thing the realest ones do, moving through temperate zones and back, that dull dumbing ache you get from holding onto ice too long. Holding on is missing out, maybe; the temperature is just the way a body is in a moment.

Juana Giaimo: “Missing Out” wouldn’t be much without the main keyboard melody. When it’s combined with the rather simple chorus vocal, it creates an airy feeling that is also present in the more stripped verses. But, when the song finishes after the second chorus, I feel it was cut too short (even though it’s four minutes long) and that it feels just as fleeting as the relationship in the lyrics.

Edward Okulicz: This is arresting to listen to if only because the verses conjure up the memory of playing on one of those early 80s handheld games Casio used to sell. The song’s too underwritten to break out of its own (immaculate, admittedly) haze and my lasting impression is that Syd may have picked the vocal take where she forgot to have a drink of water beforehand.

Austin Nguyen: It’s all in the shift: from verse to chorus, droning-synth disconsolation makes way for tinkling arpeggiated stars; and self-abnegating pining (“I know I didn’t deserve it, didn’t deserve nothing”), even in the way Syd’s voice quivers and lingers on ending words, somehow finds its way to subtweeting Instagram-caption revenge (“Bet you want me now”), casual yet assertive. Consider the pre-chorus the transitory phase of rationalized resignation, mulling over each “should’ve seen it coming,” and “Missing Out” becomes a triptych of a break-up in miniature. Or, viewed from another angle, a wrenching exercise in self-denial.

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