The Sea & Cake – “Car Alarm”

The Sea & Cake’s eighth album Car Alarm is out 10/21 via Thrill Jockey. A couple weeks ago, we posted the sun-kissed summertime video for electro-infused “Weekend.” In this week’s Drop, we’re offering Car Alarm’s expansive, affecting title track. We asked S&C founder/frontman Sam Prekop about the song’s shuffling lyricism.

What’s the storyline or narrative of “Car Alarm”? Is there one? It seems to be a farewell song … there’s a sadness but also a defiance.
There’s no story line/narrative per se. My words hopefully add up to intriguing impressions, that for me mutate and transition with each listen. A narrative usually seems to emerge but it’s hardly ever stationary, and to be honest I haven’t come to any conclusions yet as to what this song is about. What it feels like, I think you’ve accurately described. A sense of reaching for something and losing comes to mind, and with it a pointed desperation. Desperation seems a form of defiance — well, eventually anyway. I think I was hoping this would sound like my last attempt at song, in theory, as an idea, at least.

How’d you decide on the title or the new record? Do you see this track as somehow representative?
Really it was a matter of “Car Alarm” sticking out at some point during the recording. We were probably mixing, which is when we’re always somewhat frantically trying to put together the album art work, and with it a title. We thought it was quite hilarious at first, and it kept coming up as an option. So it persevered. It became less funny, but more strange and curious as the days went by, which make the best titles … for me anyway.

At this point, do you think car alarms work? Seems like everyone’s desensitized to the sounds — they’re background noise in any typical city.
Car alarms do not work. My neighborhood is infested with them and I hate them. Perhaps titling the album Car Alarm is some kind surrender. It is a sad song after all.