Bleachers have been quite the mystery here in the states ever since their hit alternative song “I Wanna Get Better” was released in February.
It’s like they’re the equivalent to British modern soul band Jungle who have been releasing singles since last year, and hid their faces during shows until Glastonbury this past July.
Anyway, Bleachers the “band” seems to be more of a Jack Antonoff experiment than a whole new group.
If you don’t know anything about Jack Antonoff I won’t call you out…I swear! If you don’t know that he’s from the band Fun. then I might give you a glare of sorts. He’s the lead guitarist from Fun, and no hasn’t left the band.
In fact they’re in the process of their third studio album which Jack is very much involved. So anyway back to Bleachers (or Jack Antonoff.)
He released a video for aforementioned single in March which features comedian Rheta from Parks & Recreation and was directed by his girlfriend actress Lena Dunham.
Since then Bleachers have been appearing on all the late night shows and even festivals like Firefly and Glastonbury. The promotion for the album Strange Desire has been unorthodox and hilarious.
At one point a few months ago there was a hotline number you can call and a recording of Jack would be on the other line giving some options. One was for a bizarre story of him and a clown, and another was a preview for a new song called “Shadow.”
So far “I Wanna Get Better” has reached #1 on the Billboard Alternative songs chart, and #101 on the Hot 100 chart, just barely missing it.
Strange Desire debuted at #11 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
Once he chose the album cover, he had it on a birthday cake and presented it to a bunch of fans at a show. On July 15th they released a near half hour long mock telethon that gave off an ‘80s flashback.
Speaking of which, the debut album comes off as something you might have listened to by yourself in the bedroom while you questioned a terrible life choice you made at a drunken escapade the other night during a high school “party of the year”. Something so bad happened that your girlfriend/boyfriend is now getting it on with someone you despise from the hockey team. Keep in mind if it was 1985 that’s what you would have done…right?
This album is filled with so much ‘80s vibes that you can put out St. Elmo’s fire with it (okay that was lame but you get the point!)
It’s kind of like Robyn meets Tears For Fears and Depeche Mode at the club and suddenly they start dancing to Grimes…oh wait, she’s actually featured in the album’s track titled “Take Me Away.”
Surprisingly, it’s actually not the most random collaboration on the record. Yoko freaking Ono has a part in “I’m Ready To Move On”, which is actually not too shabby, albeit the weakest song on here.
30 year old Jack Antonoff’s inspiration came from unfortunate events such as his sister dying from brain cancer when he was 18, panic attacks after 9/11, and his cousin dying in the Iraq war.
He wrote these songs just recently though. Mostly, he wrote during the last tour with Fun. as they went to various countries. Jack isn’t a bad song writer as he has written tunes for Sara Bareilles and Tegan and Sara. The indie-pop album is catchy with over the top anthems including highlights such as “Wild Heart”, “Shadow”, “I Wanna Get Better”, and “Like A River Runs.”
I usually decode some of the songs on reviews, but I was more interested in the sound and concepts of these songs and not necessarily the lyrics.
Bleacher’s Strange Desire is guaranteed to be one of your fall soundtracks this year.