Artist: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
Song: “Teenage Rockstars”
Album: Upside Down Flowers (due in stores November 16th)
Alt-rock stalwart Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness has unveiled the latest preview of the forthcoming album Upside Down Flowers due on November 16th via Vanguard.
The ballad “Teenage Rockstars” reflects the same candor that made McMahon’s previous work so broadly accessible, and there’s an obvious level of soul-searching he’s doing in front of his piano that makes you cling empathetically to each swing between the hushed verses and louder sing-up-to-the-ceiling choruses. Most of us can’t claim to have fronted a nationally-acclaimed rock band (Something Corporate) in our late teens, but we can likely identify with looking back at the better parts of our lives that buzzed by all too quickly.
“I’ve tried to write this song a few times. I’m glad I waited,” McMahon reflected in an entry on his website to accompany the track’s release. “I don’t think anyone is ever ready for their dreams to come true. I know I wasn’t. All I’ve ever wanted to be was a songwriter. When I finally got the chance, it happened so fast, I didn’t fully appreciate how lucky I was. Looking back on that moment now I’m so grateful to still be sitting behind this piano; to be able to reflect with joy and without judgment on what it meant to be a teenager in a band living out my dreams with my best friends at my side.”
“Teenage Rockstars follows the previously released “Ohio,” which comes closer to radio hits like “High Dive” where McMahon masterfully composes an image about big life change with tiny vivid line-by-line vignettes (“station wagon tires flying / Katie’s counting crows through the tears in her blue eyes / state lines and capitals go rushing by / as I’m trying to find a station on the radio”) splashed against an irresistible mid-tempo melody. There have been more than a few songs written about the moodiness of my home state, but this one might just be my favorite.
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