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Photo: Sydney Robertson
Photo: Sydney Robertson

Michaela Slinger Drops the Soundtrack to Sad Girl Summer 

This Can't Last Forever is an ode to 20-somethings spending the summer breaking it down and just breaking down, period.

by Gaby Aguilar

Michaela Slinger has been navigating a sea of firsts; the first death of a grandparent, friends getting married, and her parents selling her childhood home, to name a few. These experiences, coinciding with writing sessions, shaped the album into an exploration of life’s gut-punching impermanence.

Slinger’s flavour of indie pop, popularized by artists like Maggie Rogers and Caroline Polachek, affectionately referred to as ‘sad girl pop,’ expertly juxtaposes sincere lyricism with synth-heavy dance beats. Sonically ambitious and earnest, the Vancouverite expands her proficiency in the genre with This Can’t Last Forever, a stunning progression from 2021’s Panorama.

Her delightfully airy vocals take on a more mature insistence, imploring you to listen closely and lose yourself all at once. Disco drums drive her signature high-octane pop melodies, building into earworm choruses and club drops. Even stripped-back tracks like Petty Things envelop the listener with their soaring harmonies and cinematic strings. Inspired by candid ’90s songwriters like Jann Arden, whom Slinger recently covered for RANGE Magazine’s Women & Songs tribute compilation, she generously commiserates with the “sad girl.” Together, they share the generational melancholy of learning, for the first time, that loving is losing and all things must go.

Cathartic and infectiously joyful, this album is prepared to meet you where you are this summer, whether you’re blasting it before a night out or popping in headphones and staring out the window on the cab ride home.