Track Premiere: American Spirits – “Retrograde”

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Retrograde, in the astrological sense, is used to describe the phenomenon of a planet appearing to move backward in the sky. In the colloquial sense, though—it’s a catch-all blame for when your life is falling to complete sh*t, which is why American Spirits’ newest song “Retrograde” opens with a steady list of inconveniences: “stolen laptop / front door unlocked / harddrive and camera gone / along with the raybans I regretted buying since day one”.

It’s a track that’s an exercise in regret and how caught up you can get in searching for anyone or anything to blame, even, and especially when you know that deep down, the fault is all yours. This echo of realization is clear in the second verse as vocalist Trey recalls an incident where he  skidded through a stop sign, and in a moment of vulnerability quietly admits “I didn’t have the right of way.” The track is repetitive, but in a cathartic, I’m-going-to-scream-this-until-I-get-it-out-of-my-system, way that is heavily accompanied with explosive cymbal crashes that power through as the track dwindles down and the last reiteration of “It was the worst day of my life” is more of a confession than an explosion. Sometimes there can be a moment of security in projecting the blame, but locking your front door may be a good way to keep the planets from doing too much damage.

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Olivia Keasling | @residentkilljoy

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