Dog Orchestra's "Fireball Me" is a warm, glowing soundtrack for dancing in the ashes.

Pop Music fluctuates between the alternating current of political protest and the direct current of the personal, as society moves through periods of political upheaval and redefinition which then, in turn, give way to introspection and internalizing these new philosophies. Think the firebrand rock rage of Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young's "Ohio" setting the stage to the quiet revolution of the Singer/Songwriters in just a few years by way of example.

This ebb and flow is as it should be. In music, there very much can be too much of a good thing. Too much politicizing runs the risk of simply becoming AgitProp, at best, or as cringe-inducing, overly-earnest take on "activism" (insert Bob Dylan at "We Are The World" meme here.)

Considering the state of the world, combined with the preceding 5 - 6 years, if ever there were a moment that called for escapist indie pop, this would be it. It's also a fine moment to reconsider the state of indie music, in total - seeing what works and what doesn't, investigating influences, reconsidering eras and genres in an attempt to repair missteps, creating a kind of precision engineered indie pop.

The ghost of 2000s indie rock, in particular, seems to hang over "Fireball Me," with its sunrise synth and crystalline glockenspiel. It seems an attempt to stitch together the 80s synth worship with the Twee of indie pop and improving on both, in the process. At its worst, 2000s synthpop seemed vapid and shallow - 80s worship by those clearly too young to have been there - while Twee can be so saccharine it can give you cavities faster than brushing your teeth with Coca-Cola. With "Fireball Me," we got the warmth and soulfulness of synthpop pioneers like Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark or INXS but paired with a sense of innocence and freshness you would heard from a band like Seabear.



Sometimes, when the world is burning, the best we can do is to focus on our own inner worlds - to appreciate what we have, to take control over the things we can. "Fireball Me" is a sweet, inspiring synth-infused indie anthem about falling in love that would sound like a classic no matter when it came out.

"Fireball Me" is the newest single from the band's upcoming Spoon EP. At this point, We Are: The Guard can hardly wait!

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J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.