There’s a whole lot of songs out there about California, either romanticizing it as a sun-soaked paradise or pulling back the veneer to expose its less-than-perfect underbelly. Human People’s contribution to the canon sits somewhere between the two. “California” is the new single from the band’s upcoming debut album, Butterflies Drink Turtle Tears — they shared a video for “Radiator Water” from it last fall — and the New York-based band crackles with the tension that’s always existed between the coasts.
“I’m gonna go to Cali-fuckin’-fornia/ It’s where I will die,” Hayley Livingston drawls in the chorus. The band matches her disposition with a snarling snottiness, making California feel like just another dead-end stop on a road where the change of locale won’t fix whatever you’re unhappy with.
“This song is a little tongue in cheek and a little serious,” Livingston explains. “I intentionally wanted people to be able to take whatever meaning they could from it. It seems like I could love California, I could hate it, I could feel very weird and conflicted about it. But ultimately the song is about the negative feelings that you can have regardless of a pleasant setting.”
01 “Radiator Water”
03 “Black Flowers”
07 “Radio Flyer”
08 “Run Me Over”
10 “Mood Swings”
11 “In My Speakers”
12 “No Tides”
Butterflies Drink Turtle Tears is out 9/21 via Exploding In Sound. Pre-order it here.