One of the many good things about being a fan of The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die is that you’ll never have to wait too long for new material from the band, as they’re constantly putting out songs and participating in splits in between album cycles. The group’s most recent release, the instant-classic Harmlessness, made it to lucky #13 on our best albums of 2015 list, and they’re following that up with a 2-song 7″ called Long Live Happy Birthday. Both tracks were written around the same time as the songs on Harmlessness and, logically, come from a similar headspace, though they’re different enough that you could understand why they may not slot all that comfortably next to what did end up on the album.
“Katamari Duquette,” which gets its name respectively from a video game and the last name of one of the co-founders of Topshelf Records, feels burnt-out and tired. It starts in neutral gear: “How you make your own way out from the time honored practice of killing time while lost?/ Visit a new town, shake your fist,” a call-to-action that sounds like it can barely get itself up off the ground. “You still have to follow all of them around.” Things lurch upwards from there, culminating on the scratchily sung exclamation mark: “Away with god, away with love/ Our bands are tied and stepped on.” What’s holding us back? How do we make our own way out? Vocalist David Bello told NPR that the song is “about getting lost in a darkened city and abandoning the warped memories of home and childhood in order to accept that all institutions are corrupt.” Listen below.