“When people first used the term ‘Electric Century,’ it represented the shift from steam power to electricity, and it changed the entire universe,” he said. “And, for me, this is a complete change in my life.”
And he wasn’t kidding. Because on Monday, Electric Century unveiled their first song, a soaring slice of synth-pop called “I Lied” that is most definitely a departure from anything in Way (or his songwriting partner Dave Debiak’s) past … not to mention a hint of what’s to come.
Case in point, despite the song’s shimmering exterior and soaring chorus, it’s a decidedly dark listen, with lyrics that delve into addiction and depression. And, as Way and Debiak explained, that dichotomy definitely sets the tone for the songs on Electric Century’s upcoming full-length debut.
“The song is about somebody who’s struggling with addiction; there really bright spot,” Debiak said. “I mean, the chorus lifts and you can sing along to it, but there really is no happy ending to it, so to speak … when we recorded it, we kind of stepped back, and we had to be like ‘Wow, that’s interesting.”
“We we wanted to make it very anthemic in a sense, but lyrically, it’s not your traditional pop song,” Way added. “It’s like in the vein of the Smiths, where it’s not a pop song, but it is a pop song.”
Of course, influence aside, there’s another reason Electric Century chose to lead with “I Lied;” Way’s personal history of addiction. It’s a subject he’s addressed previously in interviews, but with a brand-new band, he decided it was time to mention his battles musically too.
“The song speaks to me, because, as I’ve talked about before, I’m a drug addict, I’ve been a drug addict my whole life,” he said. “And I’ve recovered, come back from the mountain, but that song still speaks to me. I listen to it and it hits home.”