“I Am Sad” – MISSIO EP Review

Written by on February 27, 2023

By Emily McCormack

“Bottom Of The Deep Blue Sea” was the first single that introduced me to Missio in 2018. I decided to delve deeper into their discography and ever since then, the alternative/electronic duo have been part of my go-to pile of artists I reference as my favorite band.

Missio decided to spend their pre-Valentine’s Day with their fans on Monday, February 13, 2023, hanging out on a livestream via YouTube on “Valentine’s Date Night: w/ MISSIO.” I was disappointed when I realized I would be in class when the livestream was happening. I was so glad to see that they saved the stream! Though, there is something more important that got me smiling:

The band teased their livestream by saying they would explore some behind the scenes to their songs, and play some unreleased tracks… what they didn’t reveal beforehand, was that just a few hours later they would officially release six songs as a Valentine’s gift!

These six songs comprise their I Am Sad EP, released just four months after their full length album “Villain” from Fall 2022.

David Butler described the emotions of the new EP simply as follows: “There’s a lot of sad things that happened to us in this past year and so we had a group of songs that were all kind of centered on being sad and so our our first EP off this next cycle of music is called ‘I am sad…’ and it’s about being sad.”

Opener “I’m Sad & I Can’t Speak” is a very honest introduction to the project and sets the tone for all six tracks. The lyrics are few, which is the same for half of the songs. The instrumentals are a relaxed beat that isn’t overcomplicated, which aids the simplicity of the song’s message: being sad and getting those thoughts out.

The middle tracks, “Read Your Mind,” “I Don’t Like It When You’re Lonely,” and “What Can You Say” all have chill vibes and contribute to the overarching theme of sadness. I particularly like the whistling in “Read Your Mind,” and immediately picked “I Don’t Like It When You’re Lonely” as the most Missio-sounding track of these three upon first listen (I was also glad to see that the lyrics are clean so I could play it on my show!).

“RingTing” is a little different from the other songs as it features the deep, vocal manipulation that some of their work outside of this project features. This makes “RingTing” a standout song to me, considering the others are more laid back and don’t feature the deeper voices like this one does throughout. The bridge is as follows: “I’m trying to communicate, this world’s in disarray / I’m trying to articulate, that I am not okay.” I feel that this is a theme for the whole EP, which is a musical way of expressing the feelings of not being alright, but at the least acknowledging this problem.

My favorite track on the EP has to be “Monsters (Inside of Us),” also the final song. Apparently, this track was originally featured on a self-titled EP from 2015 that seems to be difficult to find (Spotify’s earliest track from Missio is their 2016 cover of Lana Del Ray’s “West Coast”). The only place I could find the “original version” is on someone else’s YouTube channel. I decided to give both a listen many times over. I even played the new version in one ear and the old in the other to determine what was different. The band decided to remove what seems like a drum beat from the original version, and added a significant amount of string instruments. The ending is also slightly altered, but both versions have the same powerful vocals from Brue. Though I like both versions, I feel the new fits the overall tone of the latest EP. This song feels even more graceful this time around, and there’s something beautiful about the simplicity of this version.

This is certainly an EP to listen to when you feel sad, you want to feel sad, or you just want a laid back soundtrack to whatever you’re doing.

If there is any one thing I have ever admired about this band, which is a considerable amount, it’s that they aren’t afraid to be true to themselves and say the truth about what they are feeling. There is so much emotion in their lyrics and authenticity in their delivery across all projects, You can see this even more so in their 2020 documentary Love Me Whole, where they really delve deep into the making of their second album, The Darker The Weather // The Better The Man. It is in this documentary where Butler speaks about his concerns with his relationship with his wife, and Matthew Brue opens up about his personal journey with alcoholism. These subjects are not easy for someone to speak about to others, let alone an entire fanbase… I truly admire these two for expressing their feelings through art and delivering their honesty to their fans as much as they do.

I for one cannot wait to see what else Missio has in store- this EP is only the beginning of their next chapter!

If you enjoy “I Am Sad,” I would highly recommend checking out Missio’s three parts of “Skeletons,” EP’s which featured stripped back versions of their other outstanding work.

Photo from YouTube.