November 27, 2021

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Graduation Speech reflects on sharing life in close quarters on “Small Apartment”


Graduation Speech | photo by Julie Wackerle | courtesy of the artist

Graduation Speech is the contemplative post-emo project of Collingswood, New Jersey’s Kevin Day, and though their song “Small Apartment” dates back to the 2019 EP Maintenance Required, the song’s new music video hits especially close to home as we approach one year indoors due to the global pandemic.

The pensive song is based around an acoustic rhythm and a melancholic clean electric lead, with Day sharing vivid images of life in close quarters (“sunlight reflecting in the glass / you’re the reason that I’m here”) and the dance of challenges and mutual uplift that comes with co-habitation at its most successful (“straighten me out when I lean into you”).

“‘Small Apartment’ is about the internal fears that you have when moving into the same living space as your significant other,” Day tells us over email. “It seems all too easy to go through mental gymnastics and arrive at the conclusion that you’re somehow going to be a burden on this person.”

For the new music video, shot by Brian Mietz of many South Jersey bands (most recently Cabana Wear), we see overhead drone footage of suburban sprawl, zeroing in on the apartment complex where Day and his wife live. It unravels vignettes of wall decorations, unmade beds and compact garages, pedalboards and shelves of shared vinyl, with Day popping in to remind us this is a space not just for stuff, but humans.

“There was one moment where the drone came crashing down and the little fan blades cut my leg,” remembers Day. “Be careful out there.”

Watch the “Small Apartment” video below. Maintenance Required is out now, and Graduation Speech will release another EP with Jetsam-Flotsam on April 30th.

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