Welcome to part 2 of E.F.’s celebration of a great new rock album. It’s time to dig into the tracks!
1) Doom-scroller – The album’s stand-alone 10 minute and 29 second progressive masterpiece. A revolutionary’s anxiety anthem / screen addicts anonymous confession / techno rave / soul prescription that culminates in a big warm hug from band to listener. Stranger Things fans, when the Kate Bush tape breaks, here is your backup plan.
2) All Comes Crashing – The lead single and a kind of silver-linings love song. There is an interesting duality happening lyrically – The verse is about starting over, but the refrain is about holding on to what you already have – “For all I know this might be my last night. If that’s how it goes, there’s no one I would rather be lying beside, when it all comes crashing…”
3) What Feels Like Eternity – When Camus sealed his philosophical opus with the cheap consolation, “One must imagine Sisyphus happy” – this is what he meant. Absurd creation at its best. First and foremost it’s a ‘rock’ song. Get it? And an existential elixir for anyone currently “Crushing on repeat through another week” – of the
slow (now fast) and steady grind. It’s a scoreless game until Emily finds a breakaway to start the second half. Jimmy pushes her forward on a cascading current of crystal guitar notes. Oooos and Awwwws from the fans. Stadium Love. Sonic euphoria. Now we’re having fun.
4) Formentera – The shimmering diamond core of the album. And a mantra of self-compassion. It begins and ends with orchestral strings (the first real strings employed on a Metric album. I believe). Then an ebb and flow synthesizer that is the tide surrounding the island. It’s the paradise refuge in your mind where you can escape for a moment of peace from all the chaos in our world right now. Emily kneels inside her crystal echo chamber palace, tormented by her doubts. Before surrendering. “Why not just let go?” She asks. “The stakes are not my own.” The end sounds like a carnival ride breaking. Mental palace collapses. Snap back to reality.
*** Intermission ***
5) Enemies of The Ocean – A song that almost begs to be skipped. But you needn’t. It’s a breakup song. “How were we to know the river ever would bend? Split apart at the end. Enemies of the ocean.” Emily sings it with almost irritating mockery in her voice. What is an enemy of the ocean? It’s a river. An ocean exists in an infinite, permanent state. But a river is always winding, flowing, changing. Which is why it is said that one never steps in the same river twice. Enemies is a celebration of living the passionate life to its fullest. The soul’s bittersweet acknowledgement that “there is no noble love but that which recognizes itself to be both short-lived and exceptional.”
6) I Will Never Settle – Never is a strong word. So what can you do when your partner tells you this? Just smile, tip your cap, and walk away. And say thank you (I guess🤷🏽).
7) False Dichotomy – Arguably the tightest groove on the album. The fuzzy bass and caustic synthesizers dig into you like electric barbed wire.
8) Oh Please – Guitarist, James Shaw says this is the first song they wrote for the album. And it does have that back-from-summer-break vibe. It’s the band working out the kinks. It would have been a solid opener, but when you go on to write a song like Doomscroller, it’s easy to see why the band relegated this track to the end of the album instead.
9) Paths in The Sky – A song about friendship – reminiscing about the good old days. Supporting a loved one when they share with you their “brutal news.” Seeing how the chips land. Surveying the grand plan. Realizing your destiny.
Thanks for reading about this new album by a band you’ve probably never heard of. One of my favorites, if you couldn’t tell. There are a lot of topics I have wanted to write about lately. But I chose this first because of the hope and good vibes this music has instilled in me. That’s what I wanted to share with you.