Today’s Song: Fireworks Cope with Faith on “I Want to Start a Religion with You”

Fireworks © Leah Castile
Fireworks © Leah Castile
Detroit pop punk band Fireworks’ long-awaited return brings existential anxiety to the forefront throughout ‘Higher Lonely Power,’ and especially on the catchy, cathartic song, “I Want To Start A Religion With You.”
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“I Want To Start A Religion With You” – Fireworks

Comfort and finding meaning are usually two of the reasons that people turn to religion. Most often people are trying to find solace and make sense of a senseless world when they turn to belief, but to so many the ancient beliefs and dogma can create a harder barrier for entry, which leaves much room for creation, giving a perfect space for Fireworks in their excellent new song “I Want To Start A Religion With You.”

The Detroit pop punk band’s long-awaited return has been in the making nearly as long as their hiatus. After first teasing a new record with the website and single “Demitasse” in 2019, the band’s return record was ultimately delayed due to the COVID pandemic, and after a short stint opening for The Wonder Years’ fall tour, Higher Lonely Power’s New Year’s Day release was a warm way to start off the year.

Higher Lonely Power - Fireworks
Higher Lonely Power – Fireworks

Higher Lonely Power is an exciting return for Fireworks as they lean more into synth-tinged, indie rock inspired emo, which wouldn’t sound out of place alongside artists like MUNA or Tame Impala (save for the hardcore-inspired “God Approved Insurance Plan”). The album grapples with existential anxiety (“Jerking Off The Sky”) and fear of death (“Blood In The Milk”) with the type of care that comes with aging. The record also deconstructs how people often use religion to justify hateful ideologies (“Megachurch”) or exploit those looking for solace (“Veins in David’s Hand”).

Just for once make some time for me
Jesus died at 33
Shapes shift in the night
I love my sad life
I want to start a religion

“I Want To Start A Religion With You” finds a love for life while still trying to wrestle with the “metaphysical.” Like in later tracks that confront the fear of death, the second tune on the album looks at the finite nature of time with lines reflecting on the age that historians have widely agreed that Jesus died at.

Fireworks © Leah Castile
Fireworks © Leah Castile

As the catchiest song on Higher Lonely Power, “I Want To Start A Religion With You” introduces one of the other major themes: Loss.

Frontperson David Mackinder’s early line about how he and a loved one “fucking sucked at talking,” seems to serve as a reminder to cherish everyone who’s in your life. When the second verse arrives, there’s much more meditation how any instant can cause the rush of feelings back.

While still confronting all the themes of Higher Lonely Power, there’s a bit of romanticism in “I Want To Start A Religion With You.” Ultimately, it catches on the last major takeaway that a lot of people try to find through religion, which many people also find from punk rock: community. Despite reaching out for someone to create this new religion with, there is a hopeless sense of how difficult it can be to truly find the totality with another person: “I’m alone without you, but I was alone with you too.”

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:: stream/purchase Higher Lonely Power here ::
“I Want To Start A Religion With You” – Fireworks

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