Bleachers – “chinatown” (Feat. Bruce Springsteen) & “45”
It’s been three years since Jack Antonoff released an album under his Bleachers moniker. But he is always around. As one of the most in-demand producers of his generation, Antonoff has been plenty busy. In this year alone, he was involved in the Chicks’ long-awaited comeback Gaslighter and Taylor Swift’s folklore — and, to be honest, was attached to some of that album’s best songs despite the newsier angle that Aaron Dessner had worked on it. All of which is to say: Yes, Antonoff is a major name and works with big artists. But now he’s got a song with Bruce Fucking Springsteen.
That song is called “chinatown.” Of course, you could only imagine the synergy of this moment for Antonoff: So much of his musical identity, from the big anthemic choruses to being steeped in his New Jersey upbringing, exists in a direct lineage from Springsteen. Somehow, Antonoff also decided to release another song that does not feature Bruce Springsteen, on the same day he releases a song featuring Bruce Springsteen. That one’s called “45.” Here’s what he had to say about each:
“chinatown” starts in NYC and travels to new jersey. That pull back to the place I am from mixed with terror of falling in love again. Having to show your cards to someone and the shock when you see them for yourself. Thinking you know yourself and where you are from… Having to see yourself through somebody who you want to stay… I started to write this song with these ideas ringing in my head. To further understand who you are pushes you to further understand where you are from and what that looks and sounds like. There are pieces in that that are worth carrying forever and pieces worth letting die. “chinatown” and “45” are both the story of this — “chinatown” through someone else, “45” through the mirror. As for bruce, it’s the honor of a lifetime to be joined by him. He is the artist who showed me that the sound of the place I am from has value and that there is a spirit here that needs to be taken all over the world.
You know where else Bruce appears? In the Carlotta Kohl-directed video for “chinatown.” Seems like these two got along alright. Maybe someday we’ll get a Bruce album produced by Antonoff. For now, you can check out that video, as well as the song “45,” below.
The songs are a preview of the third Bleachers album, which is due out next year.