July 16th, 2014 12:35pm

Maybe I Don’t Need To Understand

Bleachers “You’re Still A Mystery”

I interviewed Jack Antonoff from Bleachers a few months ago, and I was impressed by his candor and ambition. We talked a lot about disappointing the indie world has become, and how it’s awful when artists consistently hedge their bets, especially when it comes to projecting real emotion in their work. At that time, I’d only heard a couple songs from the Bleachers record, but it was clear enough that he wasn’t holding anything back, and was trying to make actual pop music.

A lot of the songs on Bleachers’ debut are more low key than I expected from how he was talking. For the most part, these lower-energy songs are ballads that give the album a bit of dynamic range, but in the case of “You’re Still A Mystery,” it’s more about balancing a big, passionate song with a more measured, sober delivery. It strikes me as being like late ’80s Depeche Mode trying to pull off something that feels more like Bruce Springsteen or something from a John Hughes soundtrack. This approach works for me, and definitely suits the lyrics, in which he’s trying to be rational and analytical about a wonderful, irrational emotion.

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