Lament

Touché Amoré

Lament

"I think it might be a relief to listeners to be like, ‘Oh good, this song isn't sad,’" Jeremy Bolm tells Apple Music about Touché Amoré's fifth record Lament. "Or not even sad, like, 'Oh, this is a song that I don't have to be afraid to listen to or be concerned to listen to because it might make me feel a certain way.'" After tackling the death of his mother on 2016's Stage Four, Bolm felt it would be best for his mental health to simply write about what's been going on in his life since that moment. He expresses his vulnerabilities both good and bad throughout, ranging from an appreciation for his partner ("Come Heroine") to the panic of shouldering other people's grief ("I'll Be Your Host") and feeling abandoned by those closest to him ("A Broadcast"). The Los Angeles quintet linked up with producer Ross Robinson to push forward their boundaries, as the album implements pedal steel guitar ("A Broadcast"), pop structures ("Reminders"), and post-punk ("Feign") into the band's relentless blend of emo and hardcore. "I'm so proud of it, and I know that's not unique, but in my heart of hearts, I feel like this is our best record," Bolm says. Below, he takes us track by track through Lament.
Come Heroine “This one immediately felt like an opening track. I think it also does a pretty good job of setting you up for some of the context of the record, just in terms of how it's, in a way, part appreciation. It’s about my partner's incredible ability to be supportive and there. And just how, even when things seem to be as bad as they could be or as crazy as could be after the loss of my mom and all that sort of stuff, just that sort of reassuring presence from someone who also hasn't exactly had the happiest life. I think that kind of a person deserves a million songs written about them.”
Lament “I just sort of had to take a step back, and I looked at the track titles, and I was like, 'Honestly, I feel like even just the word lament sort of ties up a lot of what we're going for here.' So it became the title track, and for me, this song is just about how, for lack of a better term, something that's triggering can just throw your day off completely. The big part toward the end of the song—'So I lament, then I forget/So I lament, till I reset'— I think that just feels like the cycle that a lot of us go through.”
Feign “This song is completely about impostor syndrome. I think when anyone is struggling with their art form in general, the first thing they do is find themselves to be a fraud. I've always done my best to not take all the accolades that people have been kind enough to give me since I started making music with this band. And I've come to realize that the times where I'm sort of feeling the most free, the most carefree about what I'm writing, some of those lines that get written end up being the ones that I think people connect to the most, and I can't help it. I always feel like it was accidental.”
Reminders “Arguably the poppiest song in our band's catalog. The song was pretty inspired by the early-2000s Bright Eyes records, between LIFTED and I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, where he has a few songs that have a really good juxtaposition between a verse that's hyper-political and then the next verse that's deeply personal. I always looked at that ability that Conor Oberst had in a very envious light. So this was me sort of trying my hand at that, and it was written the day that Trump was exonerated from being impeached. We can't rely on the system to make our days better, we have to rely on what's around us. To keep our heads up, to keep ourselves going.”
Limelight “We’re all made to believe that a loving relationship is one where it's consistent PDA or you're consistently romantic, or you have a passionate kiss every single day, and things like that. Which, I think, once you're with someone long enough, I don't think that's true. I think passion for me is the ability to just be around each other and love each other's company. And then also having heavy, heavy experiences together. Like the people in her family that have passed since our relationship, people in my family that have passed since our relationship. We've now had three, four pets die. And every one of those was a very devastating situation, but brought us even closer together. So a lot of that was sort of on my mind when writing this song. And sort of not letting any outsiders have any sort of idea of what my kind of love is.”
Exit Row “We put this song as the first song on Side B because I feel like it's a good energy boost situation. I feel like, at this point, every one of our records has this kind of song on it. I love the half-time drop in it; I feel like it makes me want to fucking kick a bunch of boxes over.”
Savoring “After the shutdown happened, we were getting the mixes of the songs, and the opening lyrics just cracked me up: ‘Savoring the days that we spent inside as if tomorrow will be different, whatever we decide.’ But the part that makes you realize that it wasn't written for this is when I say it's nurturing, because this shit is not nurturing. I think any musician or any person who travels will tell you that when you're on the road, you're thinking about being home; when you're home, you wish you were on the road.”
A Broadcast “[Guitarist] Nick [Steinhardt] had started learning how to play the pedal steel. Less than a year before we did this record, he wrote that song on it. Every one of our records has what I call the ‘weirdo track.’ I was a little nervous with it, because it started coming together and I started freaking out, like, ‘What am I going to do on this thing?’ So when I was out in the desert writing the song, I was freaking out about that. I read probably like 50 Leonard Cohen poems, listened to a few of the songs, and one of the things that I think Leonard is so amazing at is his ability to write the four-line stanzas. I wrote probably 12 different stanzas, if you want to call them that. And then I just sort of cherry-picked the ones that I think connected the best with how I was feeling. So this is me just sort of paying homage to the people that have inspired me and influenced me in so many different ways.”
I'll Be Your Host “This is my panic of the countless messages and conversations that I've endured about people losing people in their life, and how that's had a dramatic effect on my personal life. It's really, really difficult to navigate other people's tragedies on a consistent basis. I'll be approached, and someone will let me know the person in their life that recently died, or whatever. And the thing is I understand completely why people are doing this. I would do the exact same thing. I completely get it. But I can't deny what it's done to me. It's a really hard thing to take on, and I do feel guilty that I don't respond to fans about it.”
Deflector “Being such a fan of Glassjaw and the records that Ross did, I found myself hearing a lot of those elements in the ideas that he had for this song. The last chorus where the kick drum is just consistent, that was an idea from him. The chorus, for me, deals with situational anxiety, conversations that I'm uncomfortable having, and also the impostor syndrome as well, sort of all tied together with not being comfortable with a lot of situations. So that was me trying to try my best to be a John K. Samson, with painting an image of two trapeze artists doing their act and missing the connection and falling to the ground. And what that means for the trapeze artist, and what that means for myself in a more literary sense.”
A Forecast “I lost some family because of Facebook. It's the social platform that allows your family to comfortably, openly speak about things that you really wish they hadn't. So for me, the first big section of this opening song, it's really heavy, and it's really uncomfortable. And it's not an easy first couple lines here. I'm in this extreme, insane jazz phase where I'm obsessed with discovering new records constantly with it. And I never had the patience before. I've always respected jazz to an extreme level, but it's just never connected to me.”

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