Artist Profile: A Closer Look at Jack Antonoff’s ‘Bleachers’

Jack Antonoff, guitarist from indie pop band Fun., has emerged solo with a new project titled Bleachers. Appearing at the bottom of festival lineups all over the U.S, this summer Antonoff is taking a step away from the popularity of Fun. and embarking on a new journey.

Jack Antonoff is Bleachers

This isn’t the first time Antonoff is finding himself as the man behind the microphone. Prior to Fun., Antonoff was the lead singer for the band Steel Train, which released three albums together over 10 years. So why start from scratch? In an interview with BuzzFeed, Antonoff explains, “I like the idea of a new beginning, and with a band, everything is in the context of what the band has done and past records, etc. I was making this whole new body of work and didn’t want to carry any baggage from the past… it just felt like a different thing and connecting it to something else would’ve felt unnecessary or unfair.”

Although Bleachers is a solo project, the band isn’t a move for Antonoff to prove he can do it alone. While sitting down with Vanity Fair, Antonoff explained, “I knew I didn’t want to call it my name, because I wanted it to have its whole, own identity… I considered going with just [Jack Antonoff], but I thought that felt a little too much like in your face solo project. But it’s not like that. They’re both so important to me for different reasons.”

The reasoning behind the name explains what Antonoff is trying to achieve as an artist; rather than it be a focus on him, the project is a focus on the music. As an experienced songwriter and an amazing guitarist, Bleachers is an outlet for Antonoff’s personal creativity.

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The first single, “I Wanna Get Better,” is synth heavy and gives off a strong electronic presence, yet it’s filled with influence from Antonoff’s past. The catchy anthemic vocals and piano-infused melodies resemble Fun.’s pop sound.

However, the single also throws it back to his roots with Steel Train, with 80’s inspired guitar riffs and attention-grabbing samples. Lyrically, it also dives deeper. Coming across as upbeat and catchy, the single actually confronts the feeling of loss. Not far from his beginnings with Steel Train, where Antonoff sang about topics, such as, death, drugs, and 9/11.

Check out the eccentric music video for the single “I Wanna Get Better”, which was directed by Antonoff’s current girlfriend, Lena Dunham (writer and actress from HBO’s Girls).

The debut album is scheduled for release at an unknown date this spring, under RCA records. Antonoff paired up with electronic genius Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode) and producer John Hill (Phantogram, MIA, Potugual. The Man) on the album, and with that collaboration, it shouldn’t disappoint.

Though Antonoff’s only played a handful of performances so far, other tracks debuted live include “Shadow,” “Rollercoaster,” and “Wild Heart”; if these songs are any indication, Bleachers is the perfect mixture of his preceding work with a fresh twist sure to make the band a hit this summer.

Be sure to catch Bleachers this summer at a festival near you.

Article by Nicole Proctor

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