(Dec. 7 Update: I have added a new “Chinatown” performance video below, as well).
In what he calls “the honor of a lifetime,” Jack Antonoff is joined by Bruce Springsteen, singing backing vocals, on his band Bleachers’ new song “Chinatown,” and its video (watch below).
Antonoff — also known as a member of the bands fun. and Steel Train and as a producer and songwriter who has worked with Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, Sara Bareilles and many others — grew up in Bergen County. Springsteen, he said, “is the artist who showed me that the sound of the place I am from has value and that there is a spirit here that needs to be taken all over the world.”
Both “Chinatown” and another new Bleachers song released today, “45,” are expected to be part of a new album in 2021. I have included a video for that song as well, below.
In a 2017 interview with Pitchfork, Antonoff said that when he was growing up, “I heard Bruce after I had discovered the punk music that was coming out in New Jersey, and I thought his music sounded like the cohesive version of all those punk songs, in the most simple way. All the content was exactly the same.”
He also said in that interview, “… what I really connect with is this Springsteen or Robyn mentality of songwriting, where one person’s dancing to it, and another person’s weeping to it. That’s a big Jersey thing, where it’s all so huge — whether it’s Springsteen or the punk music I grew up listening to — and then in those lyrics there’s this hell.”
Here’s Antonoff’s official statement about the new songs:
“chinatown” starts in NYC and travels to new jersey. That pull back to the place I am from mixed with terror of falling in love again. Having to show your cards to someone and the shock when you see them for yourself. Thinking you know yourself and where you are from… Having to see yourself through somebody who you want to stay… I started to write this song with these ideas ringing in my head. To further understand who you are pushes you to further understand where you are from and what that looks and sounds like. There are pieces in that that are worth carrying forever and pieces worth letting die. “chinatown” and “45” are both the story of this — “chinatown” through someone else, “45” through the mirror. As for bruce, it’s the honor of a lifetime to be joined by him. He is the artist who showed me that the sound of the place I am from has value and that there is a spirit here that needs to be taken all over the world.
For more on Bleachers or to buy the songs, visit bleachersmusic.com.
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