PWR BTTM – “Projection”

The Republican National Convention is currently on its third day out in Cleveland, and it just so happens that Band To Watch alumni PWR BTTM have a split EP with other Band to Watch alumni Jawbreaker Reunion entitled Republican National Convention. That’s about the only connection I can draw between the two, however, because where the former has been dispiriting, disparaging, and generally devoid of decency, the latter is resoundingly life-affirming and a whole lot of fun. PWR BTTM make both impudent pop-punk and spirited art-rock, and last year’s debut full-length Ugly Cherries was as emotionally resonant as it was musically kick-ass.

The album is about to receive a reissue in the UK, which will include new single “Projection” — a quivering one-off that alternates in mid-tempo between melancholy noodling and burning riffage. It’s centered on self-imposed isolation and loneliness-induced lethargy. “When the kids go out to play I like to stay inside/ Even though it looks like fun I’d probably burn and die/ Cuz my skin isn’t made for the weather,” sings Ben Hopkins, ruminating over his vulnerability and longing to act in spite of it. The song passes, like hours lost to the day, ending with Hopkins failing to find a way out of his bedroom cage: “It’s raining then, I’m stuck inside staring at the ceiling/ Might as well just go to sleep.” Maybe tomorrow the weather will be more agreeable.

Here’s what Hopkins has to say about the track:

‘Projection’ is a song about feeling unqualified to be the way you see yourself because of the way other people see you, and how other people’s perception of your identity can warp your sense of self. It’s about being exhausted with the pressure of fitting in and throwing a shiny, glorious middle finger to those who doubt you.

Listen to the song below, with an accompanying visual by Laurent Hrybyk.

Tour Dates:
08/10 Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry (w/ The Julie Ruin)
08/26 Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion *
08/27 Brooklyn, NY @ Coney Island Amphitheater *
10/20 Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right %
10/21 Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium %
10/22 Portsmouth, NH @ 3S Artspace ^
10/24 Toronto, ON @ Silver Dollar Room ^
10/25 Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s ^
10/26 Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen ^
10/27 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry ^
10/28 Omaha, NE @ Milk Run ^
10/30 Denver, CO @ Lost Lake Lounge ^
11/01 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court ^
11/02 Boise, ID @ Neurolux ^
11/03 Walla Walla, WA @ Billsville West ^
11/04 Vancouver, BC @ 333 Clark ^
11/05 Seattle, WA @ The Vera Project ^
11/06 Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios #
11/07 Eugene, OR @ The Boreal ^
11/09 San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop ^
11/11 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater ^
11/12 Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge ^
11/14 Austin, TX @ The Mohawk ^
11/15 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada ^
11/16 Jackson, MS @ Big Sleepy’s ^
11/17 Nashville, TN @ The End ^
11/18 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade ^
11/20 Durham, NC @ The Pinhook ^
11/21 Washington, DC @ DC9 ^
11/22 Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA ^
11/23 Somerville, MA @ ONCE Somerville ^
12/03 Brighton, UK @ West Hill Hall &
12/04 Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Games Room &
12/05 Glasgow, UK @ Hug & Pint &
12/06 London, UK @ Shacklewell Arms &
12/07 Amsterdam, NL @ Sugar Factory &
12/08 Cologne, DE @ Blue Shell &
12/09 Berlin, DE @ Lido &
12/10 Hamburg, DE @ Molotow &

* = w/ The Dresden Dolls
% = w/ Vundabar, Lisa Prank
^ = w/ Bellows, Lisa Prank
# = w/ Bellows
& = w/ The Spook School

The single is available digitally 7/21 in North America via Father/Daughter, and via Big Scary Monsters in the rest of the world. Check out the band’s upcoming tour dates below.