Bleachers, with Wild Cub
Nov 1 at 7
2706 White Oak Dr.
Thank God for Jack Antonoff. Thank God that he teamed up with Nate Ruess to create the band fun., the group that broke through in 2012 with the insanely catchy hit single “We Are Young.” Thank God he teamed up with Taylor Swift on her new album 1989, her best yet. And thank God that earlier this year he founded Bleachers, an ’80s-inspired, melody-driven band that proves there’s still a place for toe-tapping, can’t-get-them-out-of-your-head songs in the contemporary music industry. Tomorrow Antonoff and the band will make their Houston debut at Fitzgerald’s, performing music from the band’s debut LP, Strange Desire.
While Antonoff is something of a celebrity thanks to fun. and his relationship with actor/director/writer Lena Dunham, his new venture Bleachers has maintained a lower profile. But that’s not to say the band is unheralded: the New York Times recently called them masters of “anthemic pop that hints at troubles overcome.”
Throughout his career, Antonoff has oscillated between the heartfelt indie rock ballads of his first successful band, Steel Train, to the poppy, symphonic songs of fun. Bleachers exists somewhere between those two poles. This week, the band released its first music video, the single “Rollercoaster” (see below), which harnesses a sturdy back beat and chanted lyrics to evoke a tumultous relationship. The album’s first single, “I Wanna Get Better,” uses a raucous chorus to express frustrated attempts at self-improvement. The album even has a reprise, featuring Yoko Ono, that adds a different, oddball sound to the set. Each song offers something different, yet they cohere into a consistent album.
That coherence is especially impressive given that Antonoff composed the album all over the world. We know this because he likes to post Yelp reviews of places where the inspiration struck for different songs. He announced the new album in March in a Craigslist ad. He even lets us into his composition process in a YouTube video where he describes how “I Wanna Get Better” evolved from messing around with a few sounds, including Lena Dunham’s scream.
“I’m going to show you guys how I make songs,” he says to the camera in the YouTube video.
We’re all ears, Jack.