Eavesdrop: Generation Blood Is Back Again
With crunchy leaves on every corner and the smell of pumpkin spice in the air, for most people the fall spirit has well and truly hit. With it comes a whole host of brand-new autumn releases, from upbeat indie pop that refuses to let go of the sunshine, to subdued rap-rock that's bringing Halloween around a little early. So, whether you're already carving pumpkins, or you've just invested in a new pair of fuzzy socks, we've got the soundtrack for you.
Single Of The Week
You Me At Six – “Back Again”: Over the years, You Me At Six have seen quite the transformation. Going from long-haired emo rockers to radio-ready indie kings, they've conquered every new era with a self-assuredness that makes them totally irresistible. "Back Again" gives new form to their old swagger - an dance-along party anthem detailing their long-awaited return to the spotlight. It's somewhat lacking in the lyrics department, prioritizing earworm one-liners over deep symbolism, but the jangly guitars and subtle electronic elements keep it so catchy that it's hard to mind.
As for the video itself, it oscillates between slick visuals and goofy comedy moments, and it's packed with Big Lebowski references to boot. Whether frontman Josh Franceschi is belting out a chorus in a sharp blue suit, or trying to score a strike in a truly heinous cardigan and pyjamas combo, there's a warmth to each shot that invites you in. You Me At Six have a core fanbase that's endured for decades, but "Back Again" is an assurance that it's never too late to join the ranks.
Music Videos Of The Week
Twenty One Pilots – “My Blood”: As far as modern music is concerned, Twenty One Pilots are the undisputed kings of the concept album, creating sprawling narratives with complex alliances, metaphorically resonant characters, and real-life consequences for both the audience and the band members themselves should they untangle the puzzle. This makes them fascinating but sometimes a little alienating for new fans, which is why their latest single takes things seriously back to basics.
"My Blood" is laden with symbolism if you choose to look for it but, at its heart, it's a simple story about family. Whether it's the people we grow up with or the ones we find along the way, the slow burn radio-rock-come-slam-poetry track is about the loyalty such bonds can inspire. The video echoes this, showing two brothers learning to depend on each other after the death of their mother and the dissociation of their father. Through the glowing synth and sparkling tambourine, "My Blood" tells a story that is affirming and heart-wrenching in turn, culminating in a twist so beautifully done you'll be hard-pressed not to immediately press repeat.
Conan Gray – “Generation Why”: Ever since Lana Del Rey and Melanie Martinez took the charts by storm, the world of lo-fi bubble-gum bedroom pop has been seriously over-saturated. Conan Grey's addition "Generation Why" has all the hallmarks of the genre: rose-tinted color grading, nostalgic suburban settings and creepy-cute imagery, but it also adds something new and fresh to the thousands of tracks that have come before it.
Hidden within the dreamy harmonies and stripped back, simplistic instrumentation, 19-year-old Conan tells a story of disenfranchised youth, trapped within situations well outside of their control. The setting is at once idyllic and nightmarish, what seems like a normal paper route becomes an endless cycle without an escape, what should be a happy hangout spot becomes a place of apathy and despair. Stylishly-dressed kids loll on bus steps and collapse backwards onto beds, and look blankly at their own bloodied knees and hands. It's not a particularly optimistic picture of the current generation, but it does prove that the kids are in fact all right.
Le Trio Joubran– “CARRY THE EARTH”: The best art is born out of collaboration, and sometimes the most unlikely team-ups can produce the best results. One such track is "Carry The Earth" by famed Palestinian brothers Le Trio Joubran, whose vocals and lyrics are the product of Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame. Roger's own recent work includes the single "The Last Refugee,” and his commitment to songs of a political nature continues here, admittedly in a subtler and more indirect way.
"Carry The Earth" is an entrancing tribute to four young boys who were murdered while playing on a beach in Gaza in 2014. It is lyrically sparse but instrumentally sprawling, with elements coming into and retreating from focus in succession, like a tide coming in and retreating so gradually that it's hardly noticeable. The lyrics, such as they are, are halfway between spoken and sung, lending the track a haunting and almost foreboding tone. Still, the overwhelming feeling is one of beauty and optimism, as seen by the video's focus on the boys alive and well, running forever along the beachfront where they spent the majority of their days.