Using tracks from their sophomore album, the band soundtracks your only-in-Brooklyn experiences
There’s a reason 99% of TV shows are set in NYC. Would Seinfeld have succeeded in Springfield? Would Friends have worked in Fresno? Would Broad City have been as hilarious in Hattiesburg and would any audience outside of Michigan really have watched Samantha do all of Detroit in Sex and the Motor City?! (Maybe… maybe.)
As a gorgeous, gritty, exciting and often super fucking frustrating city that’s brimming with life, rife with opportunity and overflowing with real anything-can-happen kind of energy, New York City serves as the most weird and wonderful of settings for both scripted situations and IRL action. And since most New Yorkers are already massively afflicted with Main Character Syndrome (no shame!), let’s just say we’re definitely living in the right place. We’re all the stars of our own shows here, and whether yours is a comedy, a drama or sometimes feels most like a satire… well, obviously you’re def going to need a soundtrack for it.
Enter: A Proper Mess, which is not just an apt way to describe this city we know and love but also the title of the sophomore album from BK players and purveyors of “garage-y indie” Le Big Zero!
If I was a better / less lazy / not-as-hungover writer, I’d insert ~500 words of thoughtful analysis of the rad new album here, but Jason at The Deli already did that very well, and sadly I can’t compete with the king. Fortunately, the band themselves sent over their thoughts on the record, so we can hear a little bit of background straight from the artists’ mouths:
“It’s not atypical to be anxious, cynical, yet still be an optimist in Brooklyn,” they told me over email. “On A Proper Mess we tried to hone in on our frenetic energy but chisel away at the edges a little, maybe get a little introspective rather than the complete woe-is-me lyrical approach to our first album.”
In addition (here’s the ORIGINAL CONTENT, BABY) the band offered a short breakdown of all of the album’s songs along with descriptions of the only-in-NYC experiences that pair perfectly with each. From cute app dates in Williamsburg to time traveling to Brighton Beach, bocce ball at McCarren Park to sidestepping strollers in Park Slope, below the band offers a “track-by-track pairing to what we believe are all-too-common experiences for the modern Brooklynite.”
This city is the set, we are all the *~*~*stars*~*~* and courtesy of Le Big Zero, here are your classic Brooklyn experiences, scored.
A PROPER MESS–TRACK BY TRACK
SOUNDTRACK FOR: “Talking to yourself up in the shower before a long day at work–rehearsing that dramatic speech intended for your unappreciative boss–possibly extending into a few murmured laps around the Gowanus Whole Foods parking lot before eventually ducking into a subway and off to the city.”
“Our album table setter about work-a-day frustrations set to an up-tempo pop-punk mold. Don’t get us wrong, it still has jagged edges and dissonance in 5/4, but it’s accessible and song-y for us.”
SOUNDTRACK FOR: “That mid-summer championship game in your kind-of-ironic-but-not-really coed bocce ball league. This is your psych up song. Today the rivalry is personal and all will be left on the field at McCarren Park.”
“A driving, sarcastic salute to jingoism. Even before all that patriot nonsense started. We imagine the mindset it takes for one to think they should be in charge of anything, let alone everything. We were so passionate about it we even repeat a chorus.”
SOUNDTRACK FOR: “That third Tinder date of the afternoon. You’ve already had two meet-ups at Blue Bottle Coffee and agreed to a stroll in Domino Park by someone who thinks they’re being cutesy. Some flirty smiles, some decent conversation, and a dash of weird so far. Let’s play this one out.”
Ever wonder what a mathy crooner might sound like? You’re welcome. Lots of vocal emotion set to guitar malarkey. And we mean that as a compliment to ourselves.
Horror Movie Pie Fight
SOUNDTRACK FOR: “Your Halloween party pre-game prior to heading to Rocka Rolla or maybe even a show on the Our Wicked Lady rooftop. It’s going to be silly, possibly messy, but definitely a good time.”
“Messed around and got a triple double,” Ice Cube said it in “It Was a Good Day”. Fully composed in the room, just jamming. Silly lyrics to match. Please watch our video for this directed by Jeanette D. Moses and starring Gillian Visco of Shadow Monster. It captures pretty much everything we wanted to with this one.”
SOUNDTRACK FOR: “Waiting out those last few months you share that under market-value apartment with your significant other, unwilling to admit to that impending break-up, mainly because you have killer outdoor space, even if it faces a bodega dumpster.”
“Took two albums, but Michael finally fulfilled his dream of writing a he-said/she-said song. It’s three minutes and goes through a few different time signatures, moods, and tempos–fitting for a tune about the end of a relationship.”
SOUNDTRACK FOR: “Clearly, this is for trips to Brighton, no? Not sure you even need to listen to the song to understand that.”
“But seriously, there’s nothing serious about this song. We thought we expended that idea on ‘Horror Movie Pie Fight’ but we were wrong. This is pure, grungy syncopated noise with lyrics about spirits and time travel. No excuses, no shame.”
Music City (The Next New Thing)
SOUNDTRACK FOR: “When you are getting honked at as a pedestrian even though you clearly have the the right of way (although it’s not like you wouldn’t cross even if you didn’t).”
“Riffage. It’s in your face, settles to a groove, and then flies out of your life. Hopefully not forever. Clocking in at under 2 minutes, it’s compact, like a delicious brownie bite stuffed with multiple toppings.”
You Don’t Say
SOUNDTRACK FOR: “When you absolutely need to give someone the side-eye. Like an Uber driver who starts an inappropriate conversation or side-stepping a triple-decker baby stroller on a narrow sidewalk in Park Slope.”
“That traditional song writing process where it starts as an acoustic, country tune in a waltzy 3/4 timing but with a sarcastic narrator about not trusting anyone and eventually becomes an up-tempo jaunt.
SOUNDTRACK FOR:: “Moments of cathartic drama. Maybe you’re riding your bike up the path on Kent Ave when you catch a glimpse of the skyline and get a bit overwhelmed. You feel cheesy and self-conscious even though obviously no one knows what you are thinking. Or maybe something simpler, like the first bite of a black-and-white after a long day, because you deserve it.”
“Our 2:42 minute epic.”
And with that, we’ve come to the closing credits. It’s now time to go forth and live your best Emmy-winning (or at least Netflix binge-worthy) life. You’ve certainly got the soundtrack for it. Blast some Le Big Zero and please act (up) accordingly.
Feature image provided by the band.