Read: A lot of the songs he busted out seemed to be about love and its resulting emotional turmoil.
When explaining the album title today via a clever Craigslist post, Antonoff wrote: “Strange Desire is something that came to me a few weeks ago when I was working on the last song i wrote for the Bleachers album …. The lyric is, ‘Feeling like I never was young I followed a dream and a strange desire.’”
“It’s the two words that perfectly title what this Bleachers album is as a documentation of my life as I can remember it at this point,” he said. “Or better put, as I see it from this point.”
Despite how specific the record is to his life, however, there seemed to be a lot for us laypeople to relate to when he took the stage decked out in a buttoned-up rugby shirt and cut-off green pants that had us flashing back to our ’80s glory days — plus a snazzy glasses strap — and busted out a litany of new tracks from his upcoming record in front of a sea of girls in flower crowns dancing on the white sand.
The fun. guitarist likened the scene to the Jersey Shore, then noted, “Then you see the white sand and you’re like, I’m not in f–king Jersey anymore.” Indeed, Jack, indeed.
Most of the jams wandered into the territory of love — of all varieties. There was “Wake Me,” a ballad that mused, “I can’t believe I captured your heart” (paging Lena Dunham), a true blue power ballad called “Reckless Love,” and the angsty “Who I Want You To Love” — complete with a bash-em-up guitar solo.
Oh, and he also tore it up with a karaoke-accurate cover of Tom Petty’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More” that got the crowd singing and fist-pumping (so maybe it was more Jersey Shore than not, after all).
The beachy feel of the fest meshed pretty well with the vibe of Bleachers’ new record, which Antonoff told MTV News was inspired by 1980s synth-pop icons like Yaz, Depeche Mode and Era.
“I feel very connected to that time in pop music,” Antonoff said. “When huge stuff was also cool stuff and there wasn’t this great divide between mainstream and interesting.”
Speaking of the divide between mainstream and interesting, the crowd went certifiably wild when Antonoff busted out the band’s catchy-yet-off-kilter single, “I Wanna Get Better” (Who doesn’t love waving their hands in the air while singing along to a song about mental health and love?)
Song of the summer? If you’re primed to make the ensuing hot months all about strange desire — which we certainly are.
Strange Desire drops July 15.