Ought, “Beautiful Blue Sky”

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Ought, Sun Coming Down

“It” is an indexical, which is to say that “it” refers to different things depending upon the context of utterance. The limits of the “it” in “Beautiful Blue Sky,” the new track from Montreal’s Ought, are the song’s central mystery.  “It’s all that we have/Just that, under the big, beautiful, blue sky!” serves as the apotheosis of Tim Darcy’s chanted chorus; the words and music surrounding that crescendo pose an existential challenge to the phrase’s suburban connotations.

The track is a sharpening of rather than an answer to the mystery of “it.” The sky’s expanse seems to promise endless, pleasant horizons: “How’s the church?/How’s the job?/How’s the family?” “Warplane/condo/new development” are the imperialist, capitalist frontier of this way of life. Yet Darcy is also “no longer afraid to die/because that’s all I have left.” For the same reasons, he’s also “no longer afraid to dance.” The sensual, excitable “Yes!” that follows each of these footnotes also decrypts them: Darcy, keyboardist Matt May, bassist Ben Stidworthy, and drummer Tim Keen, can as little predict what comes after death as they can predict how you’ll dance to a sometimes noisey, always groovy eight minutes that recalls Talking Heads’ “Once In A Lifetime.” Like suburban kids fulfilling their punk dreams, Ought are ecstatic to have ruptured the predictability of the life under the blue sky so provocatively evoked by that Talking Heads track. “It” now includes space for protean resistance.

“Beautiful Blue Sky” is the lead single from Sun Coming Down, their follow-up to last year’s excellent More Than Any Other Day. The album is due on September 18 from Constellation Records. You can stream it below.

Sun Coming Down:
01 Men For Miles
02 Passionate Turn
03 The Combo
04 Sun’s Coming Down
05 Beautiful Blue Sky
06 Celebration
07 On The Line
08 Never Better