By: Sara Waber
Jack Antonoff’s name didn’t mean to much to me. His face was more recognizable than his name; thick-rimmed glasses, adorable squirrel cheeks, and that weird mohawk of curls. He was just that third guy in the band fun. And he was often featured on Lena Dunham’s instagram feed alongside her Lamby. But whenBleachers made it’s way into my field of vision (most likely through Lena Dunham’s instagram feed as well) I started to pay attention to the brother Antonoff.
I heard the debut single “I Wanna Get Better” six months ago when his sister was tweeting the url. I sorta liked it. I liked the concept of the title ‘Bleachers’ whether it referred to kids with white blonde hair or the suburban hang out spot. And I liked the red triangles on Jack’s face. I was cool with him trying to find an identify outisde of fun.
But I didn’t really get it ’till I saw the music video. So now I’m standing on the overpass screaming “I LIKE ‘I WANNA GET BETTER’!!”
Alright, you caught me, I’m a little biased. I’m a twenty something white gal who’s a huge fan of GIRLS, so obviously when I clicked play on VeVo and saw that the video was directed by Lena Dunham, I was hyped. Honestly though, I don’t think my rose-colored Hannah Horvath glasses really affected my opinion too much. It’s truly a brilliant video. Very cinematic, with an indie feel of rich characters and blue tones. I was impressed by Lena Dunham’s ability to crossover into the music video bizz. It’s not really too far of a stretch considering the video feels like an episode of her show: quirky and melodramatic. Hell, I would take advantage of an opportunity like that too if my BF was a rockstar.
Enough about Lena. More importantly, I was impressed by Jack Antonoff. In the video, he plays a cheerless therapist, squirming in his chair as his patients lip sync to the angsty words of “I Wanna Get Better”. You would think since the video is filled with charismatic cameos from Kimiko Glenn aka the newb chatterbox on Orange is the New Black to Retta from Parks & Rec, that his presence would get overshadowed. However, oddly enough, it’s when his face slowly gets engulfed in shadows and he delivers his tender yet exhilarating lyrics into the camera, that he shined the most. This dark scene transitions seamlessly into an epic dream sequence where he’s rocking out with his patients. So cool. I swear it gave me goose bumps.
The video impacted me enough to dive head first into looking up this Jack fella and what his deal is. He’s a guy who’s dealt with a lot of misfortunes who’s just trying to get better, gifted with the ability to write songs for not only for himself but for others like Taylor Swift, Sara Bareilles, and Teegan and Sara.
I was quick to judge his new endeavor, as most seem to be, but he silences the doubters in this article for Rolling Stone: “The media jerk reaction is ‘It’s just a side project.’ One of the quickest ways to get rid of that is to go out and tour. I didn’t make the album so I could put it out and forget about it. It’s just the beginning.”
Bravo Jack, to your not so SIDE side project.