The saying goes, “I can’t define melody, per se, but I know it when I hear it.” Okay, so that isn’t at all a thing that people actually say, but it is exactly how I felt when I first heard “View From the Bleachers,” the first single from Subtitles’ fourth EP (fifth counting a 2015 split release with Cranes Are Flying) titled Modicum, out Friday, January 12 on Sniffling Indie Kids.
Subtitles is a three-piece indie alt-rock band out of Newark, NJ consisting of Russell Payan, Brian Roy, and Ben Petty (also of ManDancing), formed back in 2014. Over the past few years, the band has refined their songwriting to further evolve the storytelling that is so prevalent in their music. This is accompanied by light guitar riffs that create a soft and sweet vibe to songs that are thematically, at times, much darker than they initially seem.
“View From the Bleachers” opens with vivid imagery that creates a surreal impression of hot, city summers of the past: “Her heart is somewhere/ Beating on a Brooklyn street/ Conquered in summer asphalt/ Conjuring hipster heat.” But that sentimentality gradually gives way as the song tells the story of a beheaded ex-lover. Payan’s serene vocals shift from comforting to haunting as the chorus echoes on. Still, the jangling riffs and brisk tempos make “View From the Bleachers” a track you’ll keep coming back to.
Adam gave man-birth to N.J. Racket and is as close to an "editor-in-chief" the site has. He's a god awful photographer.