We have our first summer song.
“Wayne Sketchski”, the public’s first run-in with Little Elephant, the bedroom project of West Palm Beach’s Allen Caponi (a pseudonym he prefers attached to this project), is a uniquely apologetic ode to a slacker lifestyle with vaguely pensive lyrics about the despondence we all endure (and try so hard to ignore) when life, family, and responsibilities break up our fun in the sun.
Lyrics like “I tried tried but came up empty” and “Everyone around me’s just a little uneasy/ Anything I want, ‘cause I’m my own worst enemy” drive home the plight of the ne’er-do-well. The singer concludes, however, that there’s still time to live young because “someday I’ll grow up and make them proud of me.”
Caponi, 22, originally intended the song to be about a long-term relationship, but he shifted gears when thoughts of his past drug addiction persisted.
“As I kept thinking about the relationship, I couldn’t help but think about my past drug addiction which was hitting a peak back around the same time,” he says. “The more I thought about that, the more the lyrics and verses all started to fall together. It wasn’t the same forced feeling I had when trying to write about this girl. So the song quickly changed directions and became about being caught up in this addiction.”
The song’s chest-swelling Frusciante-like guitar intro alternates with Caponi’s boyish vocals, setting the tone for each self-deprecating verse. Just as the lyrics chronicle an evolving story, the guitar suggests an intention to press on with an appropriately uplifting riff (at 1:04 and 1:52) that ultimately brings the song home.
“I have made mistakes, I have fallen short, I have hurt people, but I intend to make up for all of that,” Caponi says.
The first song Caponi had written or recorded since high school, “Wayne Sketchski” sat on SoundCloud for three months before we stumbled upon it on Discosoma Records’ website. It is just one of a batch of songs that are nearing the finish line.
Hurry up, Caponi, “don’t you know that we both really need this?”
Name drop: With its hard-on-himself narrator, “Wayne Stretchski” brings to mind (mine) Wreckless Eric’s classic “The Downside of Being a Fuck Up”.