Recommended If You Like: alt-J, Fleet Foxes, The Arcs
Home is complicated: We love home! Most of us love our family, appreciate our neighborhood, and feel comfortable in the community that aided in our upbringing. But even the most ancient sedentary cultures had coming-of-age ceremonies: Everyone reaches a point in their young adulthood at which they must leave the nest, enter the world and discover themselves.
Of course, even Queen knew that leaving home ain’t easy. Advancing forth into the unknown is a privilege not all of us can enjoy, but few people ever bother addressing. The Solars’ “Goddess of the Suburbs” captures the complexity of being ‘stuck’ at home in a dazzling array of folk and psychedelic rock.
Seen the girl with the smile on her face
Telling me to count my blessings like I count my age
She’d help herself, said she got nothing to lose
She fed me the line and I delivered the news
Listen: “Goddess of the Suburbs” – The Solars
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “Goddess of the Suburbs,” the lead single off The Solars’ recently-released EP Retitled Remastered (independent, April 21, 2017). Consisting of Miles Hewitt, Quetzel Herzig, Cody Carson, Jason Lilly, and John Miller, Boston five-piece The Solars offer multi-dimensional music for the modern age. “Goddess of the Suburbs” is an absolutely entrancing trip into the band’s musical rabbit hole, offering us a slice of real life that cuts deep and leaves a lasting mark.
Though when I went home
I could see nothing was new
Yellow grass around a white trim house like a zoo
And every day, I’d put a hole in the cage
She fed me the line
and put me back in my place
Whether you left home and then returned, or never made it out, there’s something about the place you grew up that eventually grows old. Most twenty-somethings are not suited to the humdrum of the everyday; our biology leans toward experiencing the new, engulfing our senses in stimuli that dazzle our brains and feed our nerves.
Western society is built around certain buzzwords: “progress,” “advancement,” “success.” From an early age, we are told to go to school, so that we can keep going to school, and eventually make something of ourselves. If you’re like 83% of students in the United States, then you graduate high school at eighteen and think, now what? Many students then go to college, delaying the now what questions for a few more years. Eventually, the cycle of education ends and the transformation is complete: You are ready to engage with your fellow human beings.
Been having dreams where the girls line up side to side
Wearing signs saying “Everything Will Be Alright.”
And I don’t believe everything that I read
But free advice never looked so good to me
Yeah I been having twisted visions of a thing divine
Trapped inside another person waiting for a sign
A windowpane into a different machine
The Solars evoke feelings of entrapment – of paranoia and discomfort, the numb disenchantment to an everyday that never changes. “Goddess of the Suburbs” is a truly bittersweet phrase, describing the master of none – a slave to her own domain. Her life is as real as the life of those who left, yet it certainly feels like the grass is greener in only one direction.
Maybe those words – progress, advancement, success – maybe those words are just things we say to justify an otherwise meaningless existence. We exist because we were born: The rest of the story is ours to decide. In Glass Animals’ song “Life Itself,” the narrator reflects upon a life path that conflicts with society’s norms. We are prone to judge him negatively and disregard him as a lowlife.
On “Goddess of the Suburbs,” The Solars offer us something else: The vantage point of those who don’t get to make their own decision. Directed by Pat Adley, the band’s music video begs us to think hard about our relationship with our surroundings.
“It’s a song about getting stuck after you go back home. Existing in two times at once as best you can,” explains The Solars. “We were excited to work with a director (Pat Adley) with such a superior sense of style. The original concept had something to do with sneaking into an auditorium and filling it with sand to create a desert, but for some reason that didn’t work out. It was Pat’s idea to instead shoot the whole video on miniature sets, which as the video started to come together I realized was really canny – we got to think real ambitiously about the scene without worrying about everything being life-size, which if you’ve ever worked in movies you know can be the most difficult hurdle. It also asks some worthwhile questions: how is returning to where you grew up like visiting a movie set? Do you literally outgrow your surroundings? We just kept tossing out ideas for symbols and everything started feeding back on itself and Pat would run off to the pet store and buy more fish tank decorations.”
Now, back in Boston, I was known as the Trusted Kid
Though no one ever seemed to know exactly what I did
Now I return to see a hole in the cage
She fed me the line and put me back in my place
I been practicin’ all different types of alchemy
Hoping one day to make one that might look just like me
Yeah, and the girl I see she’s smilin still
She feeds me the line ’cause I’m the one who will
Warm folk guitar licks mix with melodic bass lines and droning keys to totally envelop our ears in technicolor aural delight. The Solars are absolutely mesmerizing, evoking the likes of alt-J and Fleet Foxes while pushing us to expand our horizons and maybe appreciate the lives we often take for granted. “Goddess of the Suburbs” has a lot to offer, making it worth more than a few listens. Just know that life won’t work out exactly how you want it to – but if you set your sights high and expect the unexpected, then with a little luck, it’ll be a pretty cool trip.
Connect with the Solars below and check out their debut EP Retitled Remastered on Bandcamp. Those in the Boston area can catch The Solars this Thursday, May 25th, performing at the (aptly named) Atwood’s Tavern (more info here).
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cover © The Solars