Football, etc. – “Open” (Stereogum Premiere)
Football etc.’s music is as emotionally potent as it comes, and the Houston band doesn’t exactly need to reinvent the wheel to get their point across. But they manage to find nuance in familiarity, treading the well-worn ground of treacly Midwestern rock with particular panache. “Open” — the closer to their upcoming Disappear EP — is remarkable in the way that the song structure painfully, clumsily glides from one idea to the next. It’s a series of doubtful conjunctions, contrasts propped up by pillowy drums and a leading bass. “If you close this door behind me, I can’t say anything,” Lindsay Minton begins. “But if you leave it open, I can say anything at all.” It starts as a plea for emotional availability, the desire to be open with your partner even if they don’t like what you have to say. But as it goes on, the song is weighed down by a self-conscious fear that maybe you’re complicit as well: “Sometimes I am grateful, but sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I am brave, but sometimes I’m not.” And then there’s the kicker: “Sometimes, sometimes, I’m not… I’m not… I’m not… enough.” It takes Minton a while to get the words out, and with good reason: It’s a soul-crushing realization, that maybe you don’t measure up, and it’s one that’s been carefully built up and let down in just under four minutes. Talk about an emotional roller coaster. Listen below.