After their daringly contrarian video for “A Burden Of Our Youth,” Philadelphia’s Metropolis America return with their new single “Bittersweet” today.
Recorded with producer Brian Sperber (Julian Casablancas, Moby), “Bittersweet” covers emotional territory that will be familiar to many: what do you do when you love your best friend without any assurance that it’s requited?
The song’s structure reflects its title, with intensely bitter verses offset by a sweetly danceable guitar hook. “I know about the crushes you’ve felt, who broke your heart, who made you melt,” vocalist Christian Mora complains, but that hook comes in to lift the mood before it gets too melancholy.
Still, the song never entirely shakes that sense of sadness. In the chorus, Mora bemoans the incompleteness of his situation, wondering when he’ll be the one inspiring emotions instead of absorbing them and offering condolences. He’s not optimistic. “What do you care?” he asks, and without the song’s shining guitars, active groove, and dreamy synth tones, you’d think he’d already given up.
Metropolis America formed in Philadelphia in 2010, inspired by the tension and sense of drama of their Cold War upbringings. Coining their sound “Cold Pop,” they’ve captured that tension with a sound reminiscent of The Human League and Green-era R.E.M., as well as more recent artists like Editors and Snow Patrol. With Sperber’s forceful production, Metropolis America’s songs feel like the aural equivalent of a global fist pump, not unlike what Eno achieved with Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto.
“Bittersweet” is due for release with accompanying video in early July, and Metropolis America plays Lit Lounge in New York City on July 11.
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