Music

Shearwater - "Quiet Americans" (Singles Going Steady)

Photo: Sarah Cass

The song's retro-futuristic atmosphere and snarky political commentary demand multiple listens to reach their full effect.

Chris Pittaway: This track is surprisingly tense and driving, given its flat, sneering delivery and not-particularly-varied instrumentation. Its retro-futuristic atmosphere and snarky political commentary demand multiple listens to reach their full effect, but when they do, it's pretty darn chilling. [7/10]

Steve Horowitz: “Piss on the world below / like a dog who knows its name,” Shearwater sings. They get nasty and emo at the same time. The song spars with the listener, and while it may not be a knockout, it gives a beating in the best sense of the world. The video meshes with the song, but the melodic yet atmospheric music works well on its own. [8/10]

Paul Duffus: There’s a theory that production of new pop music ceased permanently in 1979. Since then the genre has been in a state of what cultural historians term re-barfing itself, a cycle wherein it chows down on its own past, throws it up, consumes it again, throws it up, consumes it again, and so on, the constituent parts of said past becoming weaker and weaker with the release of each new, thoroughly derivative single. It’s a crazy idea, but one which “Quiet Americans” with all its nagging familiarity does zero to disprove. [5/10]

Dustin Ragucos: "Quiet Americans" is the background music to a young adult fiction's non-serious reconnaissance mission, one where the author furiously becomes inspired by the Depeche Mode and Muse CDs packed in his basement. Even after giving the track the benefit of the doubt, a lyric like "piss on the world below, like a dog that knows his name" burst what bubbles came in headspace. And the terrifying part is that, for all its strangeness, I like it. [6/10]

Chad Miller: Features some interesting melodies wrapped around a criticism of Americans. The song is instantly catchy and uses some clever metaphors to keep you on your toes although it might drag on a bit too long considering the vocals and melodies are somewhat stagnant throughout. [7/10]

Dami Solebo: The voice is a bit of an acquired taste, but I liked. Song has a message which might not be absorbed on first listen, but I guess is relatively poignant. The tone is set pretty early on, and I like instrumentation especially with the chorus. [7/10]

Jedd Beaudoin: My recollection of what this band sounds like is radically different from what it sounds like. Too bad. My memory is better. This doesn’t really go anywhere. [5/10]

SCORE: 6.43

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