It’s now the high noon of summer, and, naturally, with it comes the usual wave of social anxiety: awkward barbeques with family; slightly-too-hot beach days; sand in the car and clothes; the pressure of tanning just enough that people comment on it but not enough that your skin peels. We’re really in the thick of the Season of Overthinking. So it’s fitting that local Boston-based band Jakals should release a new single about just that. “Speeding,” the band’s newest single, deals heavily with themes of societal expectations, self-doubt, and indecision. Jakals shed light on some of the most common forms of doubt and self-loathing. “[T]ailoring yourself to society’s expectations and losing yourself in the process,” lead singer Katie Solomon described it. “It’s about realizing that the person you thought you wanted to become is not actually who you want to be. At the same time, it can feel impossible to undo the physical, emotional, or chemical changes you’ve made to yourself.” “It’s scary,” she continued, “to move forward not knowing who you really are.” And, possibly adding to the theme of chaos and indecision, the band skilfully blends impassioned lyrics with ‘90s pop music arrangements on the track, with occasional influences from later Arcade Fire. One can almost hear Solomon glancing around warily while delivering the equally on-edge and frantic lyrics (“I wasn’t always so anxious / I know just how I became this”); an inspiration, too, for the single’s blurry cover. “It was inspired by the idea of someone being so not present that they begin losing their form,” Solomon said. The track’s title also fits like a puzzle piece into the song’s extended metaphor: speeding through life to avoid the inevitable feeling of dissociation and, as Solomon described, loss of self. She adds to it further in the paranoid first few minutes of the song: “I keep moving and that keeps me calm / Till I realize I’m not moving, I’m falling / I have no control over anything at all.” Though it was recorded in only a few days at Mad Oak Studios in Allston, the dense, complex instrumentals suggest a longer process. On “Speeding,” Jakals switch frequently between solemn, confident guitar noodling (by guitarist Bredon Jones) and post rock–esque build-ups, with Solomon’s voice woven through, escalating to and descending from vocal highs—and meanwhile, drummer Teryn Citino adds to the build-ups with tacit care and restrained groove. There’s a certain beauty to be appreciated in the thoughtful arrangements Jakals pull off on this single. “Speeding” continues to fluctuate between blaring noise and quiet, sentimental emotion, until the song ends the same way it started—slow and thoughtful. And Solomon ends on a similar but much more poignant note: “I don’t know if living like this is worth it / If there’s anything better, I don’t deserve it / I wouldn’t jump in front of a train / But I’d do this all over again / And it’s just the same action in slow motion.” Though occasionally witty and even slightly tongue-in-cheek, “Speeding” isn’t ironic, nor does it explicitly attempt to get on the soapbox; here, Jakals present a refreshing, honest, relatable portrait of anxiety and self-loathing. Though the members of the band may struggle with self-discovery, Jakals have undoubtedly found themselves as a coherent, moving local music force. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.