RIYL: The Strokes, Cloud Nothings, Japandroids
There’s something comforting about Document’s discomfort: Anxious and relatable, the Israeli indie rockers’ debut album The Void Repeats is a disquieting cataclysm of urgency and restlessness evoking the individual’s struggle for connection and meaning in the modern world.
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Document’s raucous The Void Repeats, independently out this Friday, 12/1/2017. Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Nir Ben Jacob, guitarist Yaniv Brenner, drummer Amir Reich and bassist Amit David, Tel Aviv-based Document self-identify as a post-punk four-piece. Originally forming over a shared love for acts like Wire and The Fall, Fugazi and Dinosaur Jr., the group have since developed their own niche in the music world that they can proudly lay claim to: The Void Repeats offers its share of ups and downs, twists and turns – from the dynamic energies of opener “Alice” and “Habit” to the introspective, more subtle movements of “Red Tape” and the hauntingly poignant “My Bleeding Stomach.”
At times, The Void Repeats feels like it’s us against the world. Other times, we’re just trying to find our place in the chaos. Ben Jacobs’ albeit abridged tale is somewhat reflective of this search: The Israeli-born musician moved to Guatemala and then to the United States as a child, moving back to Tel Aviv in 2008. He eventually linked up with his cousin and some friends – “they were the only people they could find who liked that type of music,” so the story goes.
Following the release of 2014’s debut EP Reset Your Mind, The Void Repeats truly captures Document’s many-sided musical identity, not to mention their ambitious vision. The record is a fitting reaction to life in the 2010s: The rapid-fire, 60-second news cycle; the acceptance of an always-online mobile presence; and more. “It explores themes of dis-connectivity, digital addiction, the individual dealing with bureaucracy, corruption and the repeating void of the modern life,” the band says.
But The Void Repeats is so much more than that: It’s a youthful roar; an impassioned rejection of norms; a defiant stand that wishes, above all else, for change, all the while knowing that, were change to come, it would still feel lost in the vacuum that is life. Experience the full record via our exclusive stream, and peek inside The Void Repeats with Atwood Magazine as Nir Ben Jacob provides his personal take on the music and lyrics of Document’s debut album!
Listen: ‘The Void Repeats’ – Document
:: The Void Repeats ::
The song evokes a nostalgic feeling for staying on the road, staying off the grid, and never finding the way back home. It is the journey taken to escape the banality of the modern life and find inner peace. It is a road trip taken by two lives running in parallel for a moment.
Habit is semi-autobiographical, describing moves to different continents and having nowhere to belong. It explores the idea that people are who they are because of where they are born and where they have lived. How do you define yourself if you’ve moved between cultures? In the US you are literally labeled an ‘alien’. The song is trying to find meaning and purpose for all those moves. You feel isolated, you spend time alone, becoming a habit to yourself. The chorus also refers to not recognizing songs on the radio.
The song describes the ambivalent connection between the person and the machine – more specifically the phone. It describes the feeling of being surrounded by people who are detached from the scene, detached from reality and living somewhere else virtually.
Humans continue to look for reasons to hate each other, the world continues to become warmer, the rich control everything, no one cares about the future – often it feels like we’re heading in a downward spiral.
The song refers to dealing bureaucracy – specifically with government agencies that are meant to serve the people when in fact they have made things so extremely complicated that you are lost and get screwed over if you’re not careful. This comes from direct experience in many different forms.
Humans have now become more like plants — they need to be interconnected and depend on technology,” he continues. “The phones have become the roots that allow us to be connected to everything else. We‘ve rooted ourselves in our modernity. Our identities can change online. We project what we want others to see. The screen has become a mirror. The phone takes takes away the ability to be intimate and you are left alone with a distortion of reality. There’s the addiction of immediate gratification, the online approvals are ‘pseudo-pleasure’. This has all led to pointless compulsive behaviour.
The song deals with the corruption that exists within the economic systems and authorities around the world. Systems that on the one hand preserve the power in certain layers of society, and on the other hand are illusory social mobility, like a fairy tale or ‘The American Dream.’
MY BLEEDING STOMACH
The song describes how stress in life affects a person physically. Pressure that leads to paralysis, leaving you feeling depressed -which in turn deepens the feelings of fear and anxiety that accompany us in life.
MADE A MESS
The song describes a nervous breakdown, a condition that has become more common and perhaps an inevitable stage that everyone goes through at some time or another during life. The feeling that it is no longer possible to contain the norms and demands that are in front of us and all that remains is to explode and not think about the outcome.
The song is one of those moments of ecstasy. Being the last track on the album, it is the release of all the tension that has been building up throughout the album. ‘Intermission’ is a celebration – freeing yourself from all the troubles and enjoying the present, if only for a moment before the void repeats again.
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photo © Alex Stotland