The new single from the Brooklyn trio is written as a work of self-reflection with nods to Bowie and Simon & Garfunkel
According to some estimates, each person makes 35,000 decisions a day, and who we are, where we are, what we’re doing and how we’re doing is a result of every single one. Our lives are a product of every yes or no, flight or fight, risk and kiss and right turn and right swipe. For better or for worse. And we have the ability to remember, and revisit, them all.
While a 2015 study examining 25 species found that the average memory span was just 27 seconds, humans don’t have the good fortune to forget that fast. And beyond an ability to look back, we have an obsession with it. There’s nostalgia — donning retrospective rose-colored glasses to recall times that seemed so much simpler and felt so much warmer and fuzzier. There’s hindsight — its 20/20 nature, acknowledging what we would have done or said differently had we known then what we know now. And, of course, there’s regret — wishing with every fiber of our being that we’d acted, or reacted differently… that we hadn’t made that choice or that we had taken that chance.
Sometimes this is painful or problematic; as they say, there’s no use living in the past. But you can’t run from it either, and while it might not always be fun, the beneficial thing about memory is that it offers us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes—and, as we do, learn more about ourselves.
This brings me to “Parties” from Brooklyn trio Pamphlets, which contrary to what the title might indicate, isn’t a rowdy anthem but what the band calls a work of self-reflection… a call to look backward and inward… to explore, examine and perhaps, in some sense, process the past—how the decisions made then and there have led one to this very particular present, and the choices, and changes, one might make for the future.
And now, a day ahead of the single’s release, I’m absolutely thrilled to premiere it here!
“Parties” is the sixth single from Pamphlets, which formed a little over a year ago, and along with the song, the band members—Jeremy Marquez, Ben Griffin, Daniel Pemberton—sent over some thoughts on the track, the journey each verse takes us on and the call for introspection, and action, that it inspires.
“This song was written as a self-reflection, assessing the decisions one has made. The song starts with a simple yet familiar rhythm then goes into its first line, ‘I don’t like parties, but I’ll make an exception.’ This kind of sets an overall tone — ‘I don’t like this but I’m willing to work through it,’ as it is often hard to look into your past in order to better yourself. The first verse acknowledges one’s youth at a reckless and sometimes self-destructive state while also giving a nod to Simon and Garfunkel — ‘The room’s fueled by an enticing lie that’s been strewn on subways walls’ — and David Bowie — ‘I sold the world and everything in it’ — and then acknowledges the ‘carefree’ attitude one took before moving into the chorus, ‘Never mattered much to you.’ The second verse is the sort of self-realization of this, while simultaneously mocking themselves — ‘Though we lost our morals, at least god was saved.’ And then the final verse switches to a more direct approach, asking oneself — was this worth it, can you change, would you change? ‘Did you climb those mountains, did you find the shoreline?’ ‘These fiends, will you ever face them? Or will you find there’s no time?'”
“Parties” is the latest single from Pamphlets’ forthcoming EP, Flowers for All Occasions, to be released October 7th, and on October 6th the band will be celebrating with a release show at The Broadway (tix available here) with support from Jelly Kelly, Grand Army Reapers and Train Traffic—
Which is one party that, I’m certain, will be very worth attending.
Feature image (provided by the band): Akaer Studio