Bassist Chris Kuffner and New York-based The Weird Years have released a new single called "Lifevest" today, which is streaming on the band's Soundcloud page. Kuffner, best known for his work with Regina Spektor and Ingrid Michaelson, co-wrote the track and will donate all proceeds from it to the Black Voters Matter Fund.
"From the band's inception, The Weird Years has been both a creative outlet and a mechanism for us to cope with these strange times we're living in. Our name is a direct nod to this and some of our other songs have pointed in that direction, but in writing “Lifevest” we wanted to spell it out as explicitly as possible. The verses are written about a corrupt, power-hungry leader who ignores (or fuels) systemic injustice, feigns empathy to win approval, forms allegiances only out of self-preservation, has to drink themself to sleep to numb their conscience, and creates fictitious enemies instead of taking responsibility for the real problems facing their constituents. Whatever your personal “lifevest” is, whether it actually helps or just makes you feel comforted, hold it close to your chest because the plane is going down. May our catharsis be your catharsis! We do hope, however, that this song challenges people to go beyond maintaining their own comfort to actually taking action, and challenges them to see through the notion that thoughts and prayers alone will solve our society's problems.
Chris and Bess brought this haunting, looped guitar part and the chorus melody to a Weird Years writing session, and the song bloomed from there. We enjoyed crafting the song through the process of rehearsing and playing it live a handful of times. It was pretty stripped down at first, but we added this visceral moment where we stomped our feet loudly and clapped our hands in the big bridge section. It feels really intense and passionate whenever we play it on stage! We chose to incorporate that timbre of the stomps and claps in the final recording to maintain that feeling of an emotional release.
Proceeds from "Lifevest" will go towards blackvotersmatter.org, a non-profit aimed towards increasing the access to voting and to uniting communities in support of black issues during this election."
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