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New album warns about the state of society

“Youth Without Youth” is a prerelease off Metric’s new work Synthetica. Metric is a collaboration between singers/songwriters Emily Haines and James Shaw, bass player Josh Winstead and drummer Joules Scott-Key. The romance between Haines’ background in poetry and experimental style and Shaw’s rhythmic rigor as a former concert musician forms the backbone of their music. Lyrical and melodic depth embellishes their statement.  Youth Without Youth” follows right along in this trend. 

The unabated driving beat and repetition of this song establishes the feeling of anger. In this case its childhood angst, giving voice and a rhythm to a lost youth. Each stanza begins with “Hangman we played…,” simultaneously conjuring a child’s innocence and a murderer’s guilt.  In the words of Haines and Shaw, it’s a “sad story about decaying social state through the eyes of a child.” Children aren’t young forever. With each successive verse, as Haines and Shaw describe on their website, we go from a “discontented child to an angry teenager, smashing windows with a brick, getting arrested, and getting handcuffed.” 

I’m fascinated by the repeated phrase, “Behind the church, hiding place…”  For me it portrays Adam and Eve, the terrible tragedy of the fall, and attempting to hide it all behind fig leaves. Likewise, there is general malaise over the present state of our society. But malaise isn’t young forever.  Children grow and social fabrics fray.  I see a warning woven into the poetry. “Behind the church, hiding place, apathetic to devils…They let us go saying, Let us pray!”

Take a listen here (or in the above video) and tell me what you think.  Do you like it?  Yes, no?  If you don’t like it let me know also.  Do you agree with the review?  What would you add? 

As Haines wrote in a letter to fans, Metric’s larger work Synthetica will be about “forcing yourself to confront what you see in the mirror when you finally stand still long enough to catch a reflection. Synthetica is about being able to identify the original in a long line of reproductions. It's about what is real vs what is artificial.” Synthetica will be released on June 12.

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2 comments

  1. Bruce thank you for introducing me to new music. I’m sick of pretty much everything on my iTunes right now and thought this was pretty catchy – and it got my wheels turning at the same time!

  2. That’s cool, I hope you enjoy it!

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