“Youth Revisited” by HERS | On The Record

podcast by Chance Solem-Pfeifer, Kekeli Dawes and Hanna Guenther
intro by Hanna Guenther


Audio Review


Youth Revisited, the 12-track album released by HERS, twists the sweetness felt in their first album as Honeybee and Hers into a sweetness that can’t be trusted.

This album holds a sense of simplicity with short songs and repetitive lyrics — a snapshot of a memory, a stream of consciousness. HERS revisits the past, recalling their youth and allowing past struggles to rise to the surface. They’ve said this album resonates in a very personal way, especially for songwriter and vocalist Melissa Amstutz. She writes from experience and raw emotion creating a sense of familiarity, which allows the listener to find their own truths within the songs.

This feeling of simplicity is deceptive. Once you listen closely, you hear the layers of vocals, guitar, bass and drums stacked upon each other. The sound of this album mimics the lyrics with an unassuming depth. Youth Revisited is not safe. It is vulnerable.

The lyrics center around longing, anxiety, passion and frustration. There is a pressure to fit a certain mold in our youth, addressed throughout. “Hold It Together” caps off the album but leaves the listener with no resolution. The anxiety can be heard in Amstutz’s voice as she sings, “Under the blankets in the dark/So you don’t see me fall apart.” Then the frustration erupts simultaneously with Rachel Tomlinson Dick’s guitar. The instruments keep time with the vocals, balancing each other out neither one overpowering the other.

With quiet beginnings and explosive crescendos of sound, HERS releases an honest album that listeners can find themselves in. Strong thoughts and emotions are revisited and encouraged to be felt. We all have past moments that hold pain and tension, and HERS validates those feelings in this exposed album.

Chance Solem-Pfeifer (@chance_s_p) is a contributing writer at Hear Nebraska, and its former managing editor. Reach him at chancesp@hearnebraska.org.