Photo: Clare Gillen
No one does it quite like ROLE MODEL. The Cape Elizabeth-bred indie pop artist has an impeccable gift for transforming his darkest moments into rapturous bouts of meaningful reflection. These deceivingly joyous moments come to life in tracks like "that's just how it goes," which sees him grappling with the reality of having to move on, whether you want to or not, "minimal," a vulnerable portrait of young adulthood, and now "for the people in the back."
Released via Interscope Records, "for the people in the back" marks the first taste of new music from the anti-pop purveyor since the release of his striking 2019 EP, oh, how perfect. Backed by idyllic production, ROLE MODEL takes aim at toxic masculinity, meaningless conversations, and people who only seem to come around when you are on the come up.
The result is a scattershot list that would border on petty in the hands of a less skilled artist, but there is an innate amiability to the juxtaposition of ROLE MODEL's forthcoming grievances and euphoric production. Because, at the end of the day, "for the people in the back" is less about taking aim at those who have wronged you and more about finding peace and happiness in yourself.
"I don't need nobody" sings ROLE MODEL repeatedly in the song's closing moments. Yet, it is not out of spite or a misguided attempt to protect oneself from the outside word. It is a moment of revelation. Happiness starts with you.
“for the people in the back" is trademark ROLE MODEL at his finest - infectious emotional honesty scored by an impeccable taste for what goes into making one hell of an earworm.
Listen to "for the people in the back" and check out the Dylan Knight-directed video below: