Song Premiere: David Bazan - "Trouble With Boys"

Music Audio David Bazan
Share Tweet Submit Pin

David Bazan is one of those rare birds with a consistently impressive almost 20-year career, during which he seems to have made sport of challenging himself artistically. You never find yourself saying anything like, “he’s still doing the It’s Hard To Find A Friend thing in 2016.” Bazan’s own penchant for growth while keeping a handful of staples at his core makes him a guy whose music you don’t just listen to because he makes songs you like, but more often because he makes songs laden with practical insight. “Trouble With Boys,” the first single from his upcoming release Blanco, is no exception.

Sonically, the song deviates from Bazan’s typically guitar-driven stylings, replacing them instead with layers of shiny waltzing synthesizers and audibly pitched percussion. It’s different to hear him doing something that feels this stripped down, but that for all its simplicity, seems to reach far and take up a lot of space. Even as loops and melodies get lost in clouds of delay and feedback, Bazan can go deeper into the instrumental chasm, because holding together “Trouble With Boys” is his penchant for simplistic melodies that don’t relent in terms of memorability.

“Maybe you’re at a parking lot carnival at magic hour with your two best friends, and just before the first big roller coaster drop, you go under a sign that says: ‘YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE,’” said Bazan of the track. “But actually, you’re on tour and in a hotel room in Nashville on your night off recording a song with a tiny synthesizer you just bought and a delay pedal, and you’re really proud of your new song.”

While the melody holds the pieces together nicely, what’s most fascinating about the song is the way that it’s constructively parent-like. Lyrically, the song isn’t meant to berate you. It comes off more like your dad tapping on your bedroom door and saying “Ohh nothing, I just wanted to talk” than getting a real lecture. Bazan drops lines like “Still you really don’t know why I treat you so, so bad/Your step brother smirks that it has nothing to do with your dad”, and you don’t exactly know who the narrator is. That’s wild considering how apologetic his delivery comes off as. Regardless of what perspective shapes it, “Trouble With Boys” sees Bazan deadpan, morosely shouldering some responsibility for someone’s—or maybe his own—shortcomings in some narratively introspective way, while trying his best to be sweet about it.

Blanco Tour Dates:

Wed, June 08 – Spokane WA @ The Bartlett *
Thu, June 09 – Bellingham WA @ The Wild Buffalo *
Fri, June 10 – Seattle WA @ Neptune Theatre
Thu, June 16 – Boise ID @ The Olympic Venue *
Fri, June 17 – Salt Lake City UT @ Kilby Court *
Sat, June 18 – Denver CO @ Lost Lake Lounge *
Mon, June 20 – Kansas City MO @ Record Bar *
Tue, June 21 – Omaha NE @ Reverb Lounge *
Wed, June 22 – Davenport IA @ Daytrotter *
Thu, June 23 – Madison WI @ High Noon Saloon *
Fri, June 24 – St. Paul MN @ Turf Club *
Sat, June 25 – Milwaukee WI @ Colectivo Coffee *
Mon, June 27 – Louisville KY @ Zanzabar *
Tue, June 28 – St. Louis MO @ Old Rock House *
Wed, June 29 – Indianapolis IN @ The HI-FI *
Thu, June 30 – Chicago IL @ Lincoln Hall *
Fri, July 01 – Ferndale MO @ The Loving Touch *
Sat, July 02 – Toronto ON @ The Great Hall *
Sun, July 03 – Ottawa ON @ Pressed *
Tue, July 05 – Cambridge MA @ The Sinclair
Wed, July 06 – Hamden CT @ The Ballroom at The Outer Space
Thu, July 07 – Brooklyn NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Fri, July 08 – Philadelphia PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Sat, July 09 – Black Cat @ Washington DC
Sun, July 10 – Charlottesville WV @ The Southern
Mon, July 11 – Carrboro NC @ Cat’s Cradle Back Room
Wed, July 13 – Asheville NC @ Grey Eagle
Thu, July 14 – Atlanta GA @ The Earl
Thu, August 04 – Jacksonville FL @ Jack Rabbits +
Fri, August 05 – Orlando FL @ The Social +
Sat, August 06 – Tampa FL @ Crowbar +
Mon, August 08 – Birmingham AL @ The Syndicate +
Tue, August 09 – Nashville TN @ Exit/In +
Wed, August 10 – Memphis TN @ Hi-Tone Cafe +
Thu, August 11 – Little Rock AR @ Stickyz Rock’n’Roll Chicken Shack +
Fri, August 12 – Tulsa OK @ The Vanguard +
Sat, August 13 – Denton TX @ Dan’s Silverleaf +
Sun, August 14 – Houston TX @ White Oak Music Hall +
Mon, August 15 – Austin TX @ The Parish +
Wed, August 17 – El Paso TX @ Bowie Feathers +
Thu, August 18 – Albuquerque NM @ Low Spirits +
Fri, August 19 – Phoenix AZ @ The Crescent Ballroom +
Sat, August 20 – San Diego CA @ Casbah +
Sun, August 21 – Costa Mesa CA @ The Wayfayer +
Mon, August 22 – Los Angeles CA @ Teragram Ballroom +
Wed, August 24 – San Francisco CA @ The Independent +
Sun, August 28 – Vancouver BC @ The Biltmore Cabaret +

with Laura Gibson*
with Michael Nau +