Posted on: October 1, 2022 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Luke Rogers, @lukemrogers

After a year of hate, death threats and hospitalization due to online drama regarding Disney+ co-star Olivia Rodrigo, Joshua Bassett has turned pain and hurt into a beautiful piece of work that will resonate with anyone who comes across it no matter their personal view of him.

Nic Kowal

Freelance Contributor

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“Sad Songs in a Hotel Room” is an EP with overarching themes of loneliness and heartbreak, something many people struggle with. Throughout the album, each song’s lyrics could apply to anyone’s life, especially with mental health issues becoming more common than ever.

Opener and title track “Sad Songs in a Hotel Room” brings these feelings of longing, nostalgia and loneliness to the forefront. With lyrical references to the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel,” this song encapsulates isolation in a refreshing way. It gives a powerful take on the feelings of longing for someone and realizing how fast your life, and the people in it, can change in only a year. 

But the standout on the EP is track 5, “Lifeline.” Bassett wrote this song shortly after his hospitalization. In January 2021, the singer was admitted to the hospital after severe chest pain. He was told to simply sleep it off, but he felt it was much worse. While he was in the hospital, he was diagnosed with heart failure and septic shock and was given a 30 percent chance to live. He was hospitalized in Salt Lake City, and his mom flew there from California in the matter of an hour to be with him. 

This song is a beautiful tribute to her. It really puts what he went through into perspective. The song opens with the moving lyrics “Doc said I got twelve hours,” referencing his diagnosis. The soft guitar is OneRepublic-esque, soft and supple, helping showcase the lyrics and Bassett’s use of his voice. It’s truly a remarkable song. 

The ending track, “All In Due Time,” is the one that moved me the most personally, however. The guitar in the song has a peaceful melody, making it sound hopeful just like the lyrics imply. “Well, maybe someday it’ll all fade away/And the weight of the world won’t be mine/And maybe I’ll say at the end of the day/Who I am made it all worth the while/And these scars’ll be stories I tell/All in due time,” Bassett slowly croons on the chorus. 

As someone who struggles with their mental health, this song felt like a breath of fresh air. I felt understood. Hearing someone else who went through something similar provides such a nice sense of comfort, and this song is an incredible way to end the EP. After hearing so many songs that relate to loneliness, the listener is left with a feeling of hope. Bassett leaves us with the thought that we can make something beautiful with our pain and the weight of the world will fade away all in due time. 

“Sad Songs In a Hotel Room” is not just a bunch of “sad songs”; it’s a masterful body of work that proves Bassett is a serious artist and takes a lot of pride in his work. This EP is absolutely worth listening to and at least one line from these 18 minutes will resonate with anyone who listens.