At this point there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle when it comes to social media. There will be no mass exodus back to pre-24/7 connectivity. We are now constantly and relentlessly peering through one another’s window. That window looks into a perfectly made room where there’s not even a stray dust bunny under the bed; all you see in the window’s reflection is a room with clothes everywhere and the bed unmade.
The Boston based Bent Shapes know all this on their new single “What We Do Is Public”, as does any engaged and self-aware twentysomething. The first lyrics open with a joke about the fleeting but engrossing nature of scrolling “I just seen a face I can’t forget / In a database”. Every post is its own individual nugget of entertainment, grabbing attention for a millisecond, only to be quickly discarded with the flick of a thumb. Later on the band laments “Nothing’s special / There’s nothing personal / All in all you’re just another / Pic on my wall”. Instant connection and sharing of experiences has ironically made it nearly impossible to be impressed or feel awe. After the hundredth picture of a sunset over a mountain, you get the point.
Of course many people feel this way and say as much, but that doesn’t stop anything, despite the self-flagellation. Social media is an overcrowded pool full of people who can’t decide what temperature the water should be, but have no desire to get out and dry off in the sun. What makes “What We Do Is Public” worthwhile is the lightness and self-awareness of the music. When we’re told “The stultified have multiplied / And it is all your fault / It’s all your fault”, the ‘you’ is everyone, even Bent Shapes themselves. Thanks to the galloping guitar and drums the song keeps up a pace that doesn’t make the song sound like a rebuke. Bent Shapes are in the same pool we are, but they’re doing cannonballs off the diving board.
“‘What We Do Is Public'” is the newest single from Bent Shapes’ Slumberland Records debut, Wolves of Want, out 3/11.
02.12.16 – Somerville, MA @ ONCE w/ TW Walsh, DJ K-Tel (Ken Maiuri)
03.10.16 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott (record release show w/ Cuffs)
03.12.16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool, Brooklyn (record release show w/ Big Quiet & Scupper)
Bent Shapes – Wolves of Want
Release Date: March 11, 2016
Label: Slumberland Records
For fans of: Jonathan Richman, The Feelies, Ted Leo
1. New Starts In Old Dominion (listen)
2. 86’d In ’03
3. Third Coast
4. USA vs POR
5. Realization Hits (listen)
6. What We Do Is Public (listen)
7. Xerox Voids
8. Samantha West
9. Beton Brut
10. Intransitive Verbs
Listen to Bent Shapes “What We Do Is Public” on our Spotify Playlist: