But Pastlife isn’t saddened, though; it’s full of hope and energy. For Jackson, as for most others stuck at home, the pandemic has been a time of “ceaseless looking backward,” trying to find his footing as a musician, years removed from the moving and shaking of touring and life. “With this record, it just feels like I’m stepping into this thing from my past,” says Phillips. “I started Day Wave when I was 25, and now I’m 32. I guess I didn’t really realise how much was going to change in that time.”
Some of those changes are routine, like the splintering off of friends into their careers and personal relationships. For Phillips, still a working musician, that meant a degree of alienation. But the deeper thread is the existential alienation created by the simple passage of time. “I kind of thought that being 25 was just going to stay like that forever, and then it didn’t,” he says.