Watch the Video for Pill’s New Track “Midtown”
“Midtown,” is a simmering vamp with murky atmosphere befitting its lyrical inspiration: recent headlines from the New York Post. Saxophone rings out like barely perceptible sirens in the distance, while gossamer guitar evokes drizzling rain. It illustrates Pill’s sense for restraint, for holding back and letting negative space, absence, contribute to a mood.
“Have you been to midtown?” asked drummer Andrew Spaulding. “During the day? In the summer, when you can’t move? Have you listened to ‘Midtown’ in midtown?”
Headline culture — wherein information is rapidly stripped of context and disseminated like fleeting propaganda — is an overall theme of Soft Hell, but it’s expressed most literally in “Midtown.” The lyrics are all snatched phrases from headlines in the New York Post. The selections — references to lurid crimes and voyeurs, police misconduct and glamour’s underbelly — reflect the city and its contradictions. “The Post can be so garish and crude and offensive and also awesome,” said vocalist Veronica Torres. “Those headlines describe, literally, what we went through while making this album.”