Jack Antonoff is a kind of King Midas of the music industry. It seems that everything that he is involved with turns out to be incredibly successful. First he started out with his band Fun that had a string of hits circa 2012 including “Some Nights” and “We Are Young”. After this success and the band’s hiatus, Antonoff moved onto his current band Bleachers, which is a mostly solo affair in which he records almost all of the instruments himself. He scored a massive hit in 2014 with his song “I Wanna Get Better”. Due to the success of this song and the album it was on, Strange Desire, he was able to continue to work with other artists including Taylor Swift on her album 1989 and St. Vincent on her most recent album.
Antonoff appears to be the most comfortable when making music for Bleachers, and it really shows in his music. His most recent album, Gone Now, feels like a blend of 1980s pop music with a modern flair thrown in. The opening track, “Dream of Mickey Mantle”, discusses Antonoff’s own past failures and his optimism for the future. The song kicks into an incredibly catchy chorus which I guarantee will be stuck in your head long after you finish listening. It continues to build into a cathartic explosion of double tracked vocals and crushing synthesizers.
“Good Morning” has an almost Beatles-esque melody that seems to bounce along with the drums creating an almost dream like atmosphere. This song combines this interesting atmosphere with lyrics discussing both love and the lies that are sometimes told in relationships. “Don’t Take the Money”, the first single from the album is entirely rooted in the 1980s with its strong synthesizers and gang vocals making a stadium shaking verse that explodes into a chorus that will get anyone out of their seats and dancing. The song’s lyrics are arguably the most heartbreaking and interesting of the album, dealing with a couple that has come down on their luck and must decide whether or not to sell their most prized possessions for financial stability or risk poverty. “Everybody Lost Somebody” begins with a saxophone hook that drives the song throughout, backed by electronic drums straight out of the 1980s. This song deals with Antonoff’s loss of his sister at a young age and how eventually everyone has to go through the same hardship of losing someone close to them. This album appeals to both modern audiences and those that crave nostalgia for a lost age of big hair and bigger drums. Pick this album up if you feel like expanding your horizons while still staying rooted in what you love.