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Bleachers | Bleachers

By Vanessa Marie Carlson

Bleachers released their self-titled album on March 8, 2024, making their debut under Dirty Hit as well as their own label, Bleachers Band Recordings. (They withdrew from their former label, RCA Records, in August of 2023.) I usually write my reviews before the release date, and often brag to my friends and family about my privilege of hearing some of the best emerging music before the general public. However, I have been reeling over the hard-hitting, poetic lyricism matched with the retro rhythms akin to the 60s, 70s, and 80s since the singles that preceded the album popped up in Spotify.

I have only heard such stark contrast mesh harmoniously from this band, and in my professional opinion, this phenomenal feat has also only been able to be topped by Bleachers themselves. The four songs off of the fourteen-track album that were put out as singles before March 8, include “Modern Girl,” “Me Before You,” “Alma Mater,” and “Tiny Moves.” “Modern Girl” is definitely my favorite out of the four and still remains one of my favorite songs hands down, but Bleachers saved their best for the release of the full project.

The song that knocked the wind out of me before I could exhale on my own is “Self Respect.” Something about lead singer, Jack Antonoff’s, cascading vocal runs in the background of the evenly-toned chorus interrogating, “I’m on my hands and knees begging you to kiss me/When I’m not around, do you even miss me?” has me on my hands and knees begging for more. There is a sweet simplicity in the way Antonoff writes that truly makes him an example. Maybe we are not as bold as he is to outwardly state the first line (though I know I am) but I do believe he proceeds to ask what we would all want to know, and simply, while the instrumental builds, making our heartbeats quicken with every backbeat.

Similarly, the opening track, “I Am Right On Time,” opens with the words, “We were just kids/It wasn’t over when it ended,” which coherently, though fragmented, flows into a recalling reminiscent of coming of age. The youthful take on the range of mature emotions and moments captured in this album is astounding to say the least, especially since the theme of living in the present is woven through the album from start to finish.

In the likeness of “Modern Girl,” I’m New England’s finest New Yorker, and when it comes to Bleachers, the most reliable reporter.

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