Sometimes indifference or even nonchalance can be a more devastating emotion than straight up melancholia. Add a pop melody and some melodrama, and it’ll fuck you right up. Brooklyn trio Dead Stars delves into a flippant form of lethargy on their track, “Happy or Sad,” off their forthcoming third LP, Perfect Patterns, out September 1. Three chords bring you up to an optimism shrouded in snarky self-defeatism, and permeated with hardened, granular fuzz. It’s a conversation within singer Jeff Moore’s head, both introspective and observatory. But it’s one we’ve all had, at least if we have a head on our shoulders or a heart in our chest. He takes one step forward and two steps back in a perpetual standstill of dispassion. But it’s self aware, as the pre-chorus rings, “I know it’s really too bad that I’m neither happy or sad.” The fact that it’s catchy and fun as hell gives a start to something that’s immediately extinguished, like a positive thought smothered by self-deprecation. Go ahead, be conflicted. It’s ok.
***Pertaining to one particular lyrics, Moore notes, “Suicide is a serious subject and it’s one that’s important to me. I’ve struggled with depression and addiction throughout my life and those thoughts are something that go hand in hand with those desperate feelings. The line in the song is me talking to myself about the idea in a tongue in cheek sort of way, and then ultimately dismissing the thoughts.”