Worriers – “Cruel Optimist” (Stereogum Premiere)
“Cruel Optimist” is the title track from the forthcoming debut full-length by Worriers, a band fronted by Lauren Denitzio, the former singer of Jersey 4-piece the Measure [SA]. On these new songs, Denitzio (joined by guitarist Rachel Rubino, drummer Mikey Erg, and bassist Tim Burke) sounds less concerned with the hooks and pop-punk energy of their previous band, and more directly focused on the lyrics, which are smart and purposefully political.
The first Worriers release was a 7″ in 2011 for No Idea Records. Over the two years since that single, Denitzio has spent more time involved in art and feminist activism than music, all worlds the singer/guitarist says this album is trying to combine. “Songs on the record directly reference political terms and relate them to more tangible things in my life,” Denitzio wrote in a press release. “I wanted to be able to have those other things I’ve been reading and talking about come through more clearly in my music.” The title of the record refers to Lauren Berlant’s term “Cruel Optimism”, the idea that “something you desire might actually be an obstacle to your flourishing.” It comes through in the song as well, when Dentizio sings, “What doesn’t kill you, just makes you a mess / but no one ever wants to tell you.” Stream it below.