Owen Steel, aka that blond kid from St Andrews, has been trickling out a series of songs lately, and today’s ‘Weird Looks’ isn’t just a keeper, he’s doing it for a good cause.
Posed as a riddle, Steel says the song is intended to leave one scratching their heads, but not without a few clues to unravel it on their own. “How’d things get so crooked, backwards and wicked?” asks Steel, if a bit rhetorically.
“Considering the times, a pertinent line among this somewhat indolent, hiss happy, living room jangle by O and company. A song of contrasts, ‘weird looks’ makes no attempt to break barriers sonic-ally or structurally, however, it’s the minor details within the lyrics that aim to resound. Slightly sardonic in tone, Owen sets up a combination of miniature scenes that may confound the listener, yet are codes to be cracked should one try. Ending with a question but no answer, a horn is cued – Perhaps a call to action?”
Steel goes on to explain the song is a playful commentary on the current state of society, certain inequalities, and our tendency as a species to approach things in a backward manner. In particular, he points towards Dorito Trump and the full on dumpster fire he’s made of America’s civil rights (or as they’d call it, ‘a major success’).
“Granted, I do recognize the good going on around me. There are so many making positive, important efforts – and doing so successfully and inspirationally. I suppose, at the end of the day, all I can draw from honestly is my own personal life – that of which, more recently, I feel has been lived dishonestly, indolently and … a bit backwards.”
Steel says the choice to release the song today came down to the fact that Bandcamp is donating 100% of their profits to the ACLU who are hard at work as the metaphorical firefighters in this catastrophe. So far today Bandcamp has announced that they’ve raised nearly $1M, of which their 12% will be going directly to the ACLU, while the other 88% (less transaction fees) goes directly to the labels and artists, of which many have said they will be contributing to the ACLU as well.
(Illustration: Matt Watkins)