Song To Get You Through Your Goddamn Life #001:
The Wrens: “Everyone Choose Sides”
(Real quick: Yes, it’s another new feature.)
It’s hard to believe that almost ten years have passed since The Wrens so graciously dropped The Meadowlands on us and shocked a small (at the time) generation of Pitchfork readers. As a whole, the record is a stunning achievement; a bracing, introspective look into the perils of entering your thirties with no money, no job skills, no career prospects and a dim outlook on love and friendship.
Released in 2003, The Meadowlands predates the almost overnight shift of the musical landscape by what seems like mere seconds; a shift from artists relying on major record labels to provide exposure for them to a world where artists create their own exposure and build their own hype from the ground up. But despite the record’s advancing age, the songs themselves and the ideas that are formed within them feel more relevant now than ever before.
It’s a miracle that a song like “Everyone Choose Sides” can even exist. Each line adds an angrier, more prominent “fuck you” to an ever-growing list of grievances. The dead-end nine to five job. The town you grew up in. The record label that dumped you. The money. The guy standing right next to you in the band. But through all of it’s expressed exasperation, the song reveals the personal triumph that can arrive with examining your doubts, expressing your anger and focusing your pursuits.
“I’ve walked away from more than you imagine and I sleep just fine.”
[The Meadowlands is available on Absolutely Kosher]