Are you a fan of the newest album by Bleachers, Strange Desire? It's a killer pop record that really launched Jack Antonoff into the public conciousness, leading to things like him helping Taylor Swift co-write some songs. To really show his ability to connect with a large mainstream audience, Antonoff has teamed up with a variety of female singers for reimagined versions of his album Strange Desire with their vocals replacing his own. To acheive this, he's enlisted the help of heavy hitters like Charli XCX, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sia, Tinashe, Sara Bareillis, MØ and more to make the record work in a new context. Of the album, he wrote the following:
i love female voices. i wish i had one. when i write songs i typically hear things in a female voice and then match it an octave lower so i can hit the notes. that’s why so many bleachers’ songs are sung so low. i could change the key but i like things sounding like a male version of what in my head was a female-sung song. I’ve always written this way. so with that in mind i wanted to release a version of my record that spoke to how it was written and the ways i originally heard it in my head before i recorded and sang it. i think it’s important for people to know where the songs come from and why the songs come out sounding the way they do. i hear my music as my interpretation of a song I’m writing as a female in my head, so i wanted to make that a reality with the artists who inspire me to write in the first place.
i first had this specific idea 6 years ago when i was making the 3rd steel train album. that’s why this is volume 2 — because volume 1 happened for the self titled steel train album. the “terrible thrills” concept is something i see being a thread through different bands and projects i do. its non specific to any band or record – it’s just speaks to the way i hear music. i think every record I make should have a female companion record to go with it.
the process making this was all over the place. some artists fully recorded and recreated the versions, some i worked with them on. the collection is completely bizarre thing for me to listen to because it feels so personal as to how i write. it feels like the part of my process that I’m suppose to keep to myself or something and hearing it in headphones is utterly strange and wonderful.
one more note on TT is that this is and was always meant to be free for everyone to hear. this project took a year and tons of recording sessions and through that we all felt very proud that something as intense as a full album could be given to the people who bought the original work as a further look into it. I’ve loved how the strange desire record cycle has grown and changed constantly over the past year and a half. as i write this from the studio where I’m making the second bleachers album, i see terrible thrills as the final chapter for strange desire. ok- enjoy it!! talk soon.
The album is available for download via Google Play, or you can watch on YouTube below.