The BK project’s new single is a “personal mantra for forgetting the bad parts of the past”
When my parents were moving out of the house I’d grown up in about a decade ago (and firmly refused to take my Beanie Babies to another continent with them), I was forced to come home and sort through two decades of crap—and, in doing so, revisit a lot of old life.
Much like as an adult, my very sophisticated filing system is a shoebox that says “IMPORTANT SHIT – DON’T THROW AWAY” hidden under my bed, when I was 4, 9, 15, I had similar cardboard treasure chests housing my most ~precious~ possessions: a small pink pouch of glittery clay “stars” I’d gotten on a camping trip; a cute little glass bear branded with the name of a blood bank; approximately a million origami’d notes from (+ disposable-camera photos of) Abercrombie-sporting middle-school friends. And, of course, a collection of journals, that depending on the author’s (my) age, might range from Lisa Frank diaries containing sad, misspelled odes to popped balloon animals or “Live, Laugh, Love”-style notebooks obsessively tracking calorie counts and conversations with crushes.
While for many of us, toys and mementos offer some nostalgia-fueled fun (remember Pogs!?), other items inspire memories that are more painful. While we might yearn for the simpler days of friendship bracelets, Pokemon and Littlest Pet Shop, we also want to go back and tell our teenage selves to stand up to Britney, that Steven kinda sucks, that it’s okay to eat ice cream.
It’s not reliving the exact feelings again, but moreso a combination of pity, retroactive anger and even regret—the sense of so much wasted time.
It’s this sort of experience—an intense emotional excavation by way of physical stuff—that’s explored in song form by Monster Furniture in “Living in It Now.” In the newest single from the band, a childhood home is a metaphor for memories, but as songwriter Gabe Smoller revisits his old life through his old room, he doesn’t sulk, stew or stay stuck there. Instead, he reckons with his past and then purges it, evolving from initial bitterness to a newfound feeling of freedom as he unburdens himself of the old and the ugly on his mission to “clean the inside shit out.”
“I wrote ‘Living in It Now’ about cleaning out my old bedroom and the emotional rollercoaster of going through old photos and toys and love letters,” Gabe wrote of the song. “I was writing from a real place of anger about unlocking old memories and then throwing the tokens away, but ultimately the song became a joyful kind of purge. There’s catharsis in becoming unburdened by the past. So the song ended up as sort of a personal mantra for forgetting the bad parts of the past, framed in the chorus as the literal destruction of that house.”
The single, which dropped on Monday, comes on the heels of Monster Furniture’s previous single, “Simple Fix,” released in July.
May we all only keep the good memories (and the good music) as we move forward and move on, listening to “Living in It Now” while living in the now.
Feature image provided by the artist.