The Backfires’ “Song 55” Is an Electrifying Attack on Capitalism

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Transatlantic indie rock band The Backfires is back with the Arctic Monkeys-esque, Britain-meets-America, indie-rock banger, “Song 55.” Their latest single rebels against the capitalist cog mentality and revels in the joys of creativity, acting as what the band calls “a middle finger to the hyper commercialization of creativity." 

"Song 55,” according to the band, captures the attitude of people in their twenties and the apathy they feel towards monotonous, 9-5 jobs and getting sucked into the never-ending cycle of capitalism. “The title comes from the reality that it’s the 55th song we wrote this year but also references the notion of artists needing to churn out song after song, month after month,” says the band. “Simply put, the pandemic was a slap in the face to a lot of people who were able to have the freedom to work from wherever they wanted, however, they wanted, and could prioritize values beyond that of the workplace - family, friends, their passions, etc.”

The single is a high-energy track that exudes main character energy throughout and sonically channels the rat race we all live in. Featuring early noughts-era electric guitar hooks and a high-energy rhythm section, “Song 55” is an alternative radio hit ready to happen. It lyrically reflects on hustle culture and wasting your youth and giving up your passions in an attempt to “make it.” This existential questioning is especially evident in lines like, “I want nineteen’s responsibilities with all these romantic reveries” and “So tell me, what’s the point of living in a backwards world?”

“When you’re 20, 21, 22, 23, etc., you know you have to get a job, but most of us don’t really know why. People give up their passions and loves, move to cities they don’t like, and sit at desks that drain their souls. Music is the best way to express this attitude, and we knew that people could resonate with the message. Music makes you feel better after that long, monotonous day of work, and hopefully, this is the tune that people belt out in their cars and find comfort or understanding in,” shares The Backfires. 

At the end of the day, “Song 55” is a song that encourages listeners to follow their dreams and change their lives regardless of societal expectations. And that’s genuinely the kind of music everyone should blast in their headphones and sing at the top of their lungs.

Due to border closures and the pandemic, the single was recorded on both sides of the Atlantic since the band members were split between the U.S. and the United Kingdom. “The time apart made us worry that despite 'Song 55' being a good song, we would fail to play it cohesively or with the right amount of energy,” reveals the band. “Sometimes it can be tense when you’re not all on the same page about it all, so we really tried to focus on maintaining the band’s dynamic, albeit virtually.” The band members shared that they kept their spirits high by playing poker, writing songs, and listening to albums together via Zoom and FaceTime. “We even shared some long-distance pints here and there. In the end, it worked out, but we are definitely looking forward to all being together again on a more permanent basis.”

The band’s sound is organically changing as they continue to write more and more songs. According to the band, “Song 55” is a landmark track compared to their EP, Consider the Backfires, and they believe it is a stop on the way to their destined, fully-realized, and finished sound. “As we’ve been listening to albums together remotely, we’ve set our sights further back than the '00s music we grew up listening to, and that has really started to influence the way we think about songwriting, expressed the group. "The other aspect too is that our lyrics are very much reflective of our immediate lives and how we’re feeling in those moments. So we’re really excited about 'Song 55' and the other songs we’ve been working on. There’s plenty more we want to experiment with and plenty more we want to try out as we look to the future.”

Listen to "Song 55" below:

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