Modest Mouse is a band with big ideas, and now that they’ve released “Of Course You Know,” that’s never been more apparent. Given everything we know about their forthcoming (3/17) release Strangers To Ourselves, we’re in for some heavy you-know-what.
“Of Course We Know” is the FIFTH new song we’ve heard, and you can bet the order the singles were rolled out in has been intentional. The first four, “Lampshades On Fire,” “The Best Room,” “The Ground Walks, With Time In A Box,” and “Coyotes” more or less sprouted up every couple of weeks. Their titles hint at a companion record to Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, and their accompanying artwork thusly frames the target of choice: the dreaded suburban sprawl. With “Lampshades On Fire,” it was concentric circling waterfront homes up close; soon enough it was a similar image, but from a higher birds eye view. Now, “Of Course We Know” features evil-eyed businesspeople, presumably the sprawl’s developers. So, the question arises: of course they know what?
“Of Course We Know” is some doom-laden, chanting Monk-type indie rock. Isaac Brock’s shimmering vocals and chiming chords give it a cultish feel. The lyrics are unsurprisingly vague, repetitive in the creepiest ways. “The streets are just blankets and we sleep on their silky corpse / Covered up by them, why would we ever want to wake up?” is a hell of a way to open the song. Each chorus, if you could call it that, has Brock whisper-howl-grunting, “We just do not know.” At clear odds with the song’s title, the narrator must be lying about something. And not to jump to conclusions, but real estate developers are known for lying. Though it may be way too early to hurl thematic guesses around, big picture, Modest Mouse are attempting to tell us something about the American Dream. Hey, 2015 is as good a year as any to examine society through song.
Though originally from Virginia, Kelsey recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a cavalcade of neat degrees. She's written for other sites like Wide Open Country, Half Past, Seeing Trees Music, The Cropper, InfUSion Magazine, and Blurt. Kelsey’s greatest weakness is a large bowl of pho, and though she doesn’t know it yet, her friends will soon host a soup intervention for her. In her spare time she enjoys exploring abandoned buildings, crafting dad-humor puns, collecting vintage key chains, writing long lists that utilize the Oxford comma, and acting like Larry David.