On their sleek and moody single “Stuck with Me,” The Neighbourhood deliver a fresh take on what it means to cling to someone.
California indie rockers The Neighbourhood have always moved fast. Though they have only released two full-length studio albums, there is no shortage of time elapsed between each record as the band always has EPs in the works. The latest single from their newly-released EP To Imagine (out January 12 via Columbia Records) is the effervescent but somber “Stuck with Me.” The track is a step away from the dark hip hop-powered tracks that listeners have grown accustomed to, serving up proof that the band is not slowing down in terms of taking risks.
Now I’m feeling guilty for it
Didn’t wanna leave
I got caught up in the forest
Hangin’ with the trees
Realized I’m less important
Than I thought I’d be
“Stuck with Me” – The Neighbourhood
“Stuck With Me” begins with frontman Jesse Rutherford crooning about getting a dressing down from a cool crowd of people, as he was caught up in the tides of fame. Coming to terms that he’s not as famous as he thought he was, he opens up about the sting of the shame. The ’80s pop flavour is a unique twist that showcases the band’s versatility, while still retaining some of the angsty edge that make The Neighbourhood great.
On “Stuck With Me,” the band experiments with speed. The slow opening at the beginning is blissful as it is ephemeral, slowly building into an energetic chorus as Rutherford repetitively sings “You are stuck with me, so I guess I’ll be sticking with…” and it echoes on and on. Rutherford does not fully immerse himself in the emotions of the track, but the slight detachment reveals the guardedness that many of us use to protect ourselves in relationships. The sincerity with which he admits he is getting over himself is refreshing, even if it is somewhat desensitized. But his sleek vocals are as cool and polished which binds the entire narrative together.
The layers of moodiness are bounced through with ease thanks to the quick tempo, which in part serves to remind us all that the band has always expertly played around with paradoxes. The melody counteracts the downbeat vibe the track projects. But even through the haziness of the synths, the story of two people falling apart and stitching themselves back together again cuts through Rutherford’s blasé coasting-along attitude.
Couldn’t be more different than me
So each time we agree
I feel fulfilled
You always end up sticking to me
The cherry on top comes at the end when cheerful whistling slowly creeps in, not managing to take precedence but remaining impactful enough to close out the song. The track was produced by Lars Stalfors, who previously worked with the band on its EP Hard, which dropped in September. Stalfors has worked with Cold War Kids, Foster the People, and Saint Motel, bringing out the polish in numerous high-energy songs. “Stuck With Me” is no exception. The Neighbourhood are back, entering the new year in full force.
— — — —
photo © Columbia Records