Today’s Song: Bleachers’ “Don’t Take the Money,” a Fight-for-What-You-Love Anthem

Don't Take the Money - Bleachers © Michael Bailey-Gates
Don't Take the Money - Bleachers © Michael Bailey-Gates
“Dttm [Don’t Take The Money] is something I say in my head a lot. It’s not about actual money. It’s about following a light. A gut feeling. Not following a deep gut feeling destroys your art and the people around you.”
– Jack Antonoff, Instagram

Released last Friday, “Don’t Take the Money” by Jack Antonoff’s Bleachers is a roll down the windows, turn up the volume song. It’s an epic uplifting pop-rock anthem ultimately about how when love is real, it’s worth everything that comes along with it.

? Listen: “Don’t Take the Money” – Bleachers ?

On par with Bleachers’ sound in the past, when the song begins it feels as if you’ve been transported right into the middle of a John Hughes movie. An engaging guitar lick and an energetic beat introduce the first verse that explores how past relationships can damage your view on love. Antonoff’s low and crisp voice draws you in as he sings,

Somebody broke me once
Love was a currency
A shimmering balance act
I think that I laughed at that
And I saw your face and hands
Colored in sun and then
I think I understand
Will I understand?

The pre-chorus is a change in pace. It shifts from focusing on the past to the present, and all of the doubts, fights, and fears that can come with relationships. The tone and energy pick up as Antonoff’s voice turns even more unique,

Will we fight, stay up late?
In my dreams I’m to blame
Different sides of the bed
Roll your eyes, shave my head
Now we’re stuck in the storm
We were born to ignore
And all I got is a chance to just sit
(I’m in love and you’ve got me, runaway)

The chorus is that roll down the windows, turn up the volume, sing at the top of your lungs moment. It’s the moment where you don’t care if there are ups or downs in the relationship. You’re in true love, and because of that – you’re all in. Don’t take the easy way out just because the road can be tough at times; don’t take the money. The beat continues with a heavy guitar as Antonoff’s layered vocals sing,

You steal the air out of my lungs, you make me feel it
I pray for everything we lost, buy back the secrets
Your hand forever’s all I want
Don’t take the money
Don’t take the money
Don't Take the Money - Bleachers © Michael Bailey-Gates
Don’t Take the Money – Bleachers © Michael Bailey-Gates

The second verse shifts back into the “before” phase of the relationship. Almost the part of yourself that’s hard to remember before you found your person. Antonoff’s voice drops to the echoing low tone to regain our attention.

I slept on my own those nights
Was still in my parents house
And I cut off my t-shirt sleeves
And claim a new continent
‘Til I saw your face and hands
Covered in sun and then
I think I understand
Will I understand?

The pre-chorus and chorus play again, familiarizing listeners with the feel and sound of “Don’t Take the Money.” The bridge turns to a true ’80s grunge rock feel. Antonoff’s voice shifts even lower as he pleads – with the audience? with his love? with himself? – in almost a monotone way, not to take the money.

When you’re looking at your shadow
Standing on the edge of yourself
Praying on the darkness
Just don’t take the money
Dreaming of an easy
Waking up without weight now
And you’re looking at the heartless
Just don’t take the money

“Don’t Take the Money” is sad, happy, hopeful, and fearful all at the same time. Jack Antonoff dug deep to wrap up all of the intricacies of his life and relationship into this song. Bleachers second album is set to release early summer. In his Instagram post, Antonoff stated that “Don’t Take the Money” is a “front door” to this album. I think it’s safe to say that we’d all like to take a peek inside.

stream/purchase Bleachers – DTTM here

? ? ? ? — ?

Don't Take the Money - Bleachers

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cover © Michael Bailey-Gates


:: Bleachers 2017 Tour Dates ::

* w/ MUNA
4/25 – Studio at Webster Hall – New York, NY
4/27 – The Roxy – Los Angeles, CA
5/14 – Shaky Knees Festival – Atlanta, GA
5/20 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – Tinley Park, IL
5/21 – Slowdown – Omaha, NE
5/23 – Rawkus – Colorado Springs, CO
5/24 – Gallivan Center – Salt Lake City, UT
5/27 – Sasquatch Festival – George, WA
6/2 – Governor’s Ball – New York, NY
6/11 – BB&T Pavilion – Philadelphia, PA
6/13 – The National – Richmond, VA*
6/14 – The Underground – Charlotte, NC*
6/16 – Express Live! – Columbus, OH* (+MisterWives)
6/18 – Firefly Music Festival – Dover, DE
6/20 – The Sinclair – Cambridge, MA*
6/21 – Anthology – Rochester, NY*
6/23 – Rams Head Live! – Baltimore, MD*
6/25 – St. Andrews Hall – Detroit, MI
6/27 – Deluxe @ Old National Center – Indianapolis, IN*
6/28 – Delmar Hall – St. Louis, M O*
6/30 – Kansas City Live! – Kansas City, MO*
tix & more info @

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