Couchsleepers’ third single, “All I Want”, is different. The last two singles from the band — which calls Vermont home despite being all over the place lately — established a clear sound, reminiscent of indie rock mainstays like Broken Social Scene and Death Cab for Cutie. A lush expanse populated by swell of strings and the punch of horns and electric guitars that sing and scream; tightly choreographed hits with the full body of the band behind them; frontman Harrison Hsiang’s earnest vocals cutting through the swirling sonic atmosphere. Listen here
Yet “All I Want” seems a completely different beast. There’s no violin, no trumpet to be found. Even the guitar (where there is guitar) is sparse, restrained. For the majority of the song, Hsiang’s voice sits over just electric piano, bass, and drums — in fact, with its funky, groovy, drums-forward production, the song almost brings to mind Anderson .Paak or Vulfpeck. Somehow “All I Want” pulls the listener along at almost a hush.
Far away beside me,
thinking we were alright,
you smile a private satisfaction
and missed the quiet glance I stole
and baby that’s all I want.
sings Hsiang in the first verse. Despite its difference in tone, the song is thematically unifying. The band’s previous release, “In My Head”, hides dream-like rumination beneath its lively and upbeat presentation. There’s a similarly nocturnal quality to “All I Want”, the sense that Hsiang is retreading the same well-worn paths in his mind as the song progresses. Finally, in the song’s bridge, the tamped-down anxiety explodes in a confession:
What will you want when you have got me?
You won’t want me anymore.
I’m lost in my thoughts to keep you wanting
and I write these songs to keep you wanting more.
“‘Want’ and ‘In My Head’ are songs about wanting what you can’t have. ‘All I Want’ is kind of similar. It’s about holding a part of yourself aside so there’s always something more to want,” Hsiang said. “Not that I endorse that.”
“All I Want” is available now on all streaming platforms, and you can catch Couchsleepers on the road at any of their upcoming tour dates: