5 Songs I Love w/ The Schoolboys
Following the release of The Schoolboys' new single 'Girls Grow Up Faster Than Boys', we caught up with Luke from the band who has given us some insight into the influences that make up their uniquely fused sound of 80s post-punk and 00's indie rock. If you're a fan of the choices below, be sure to check out 'Girls Grow Up Faster Than Boys'.
1. Spring Heeled Jim by Morrissey/Boz Boorer
As a vocalist, Morrissey has wonderful bodily awareness, which is often lacking with male singers. Through his voice alone, he projects feminine mastery of self intimacy. This song paints the picture of mental clarity; a portrait of a self consulting man. The narrator’s emphasis on the character’s liquid luck lack-of-disparity between his intentions and results constitutes nearly every verse. All is told in the third person, which, combined with the persistent tone of admiration in the sultry main voice, makes the song sound unconsciously sensually charged.
2. Jerusalem by Hubert Parry/William Blake
Some say “Jerusalem” should be England’s national anthem. The line “bring me my arrows of desire” is self insertion by the author. The introspection, ambition and simultaneous reverence for a predecessor is the self completed psychology of the artist, having come full circle in this song. Jung hypothesised that the reason Western society had a hard time integrating the ageing population was because Jesus, its paragon, died when he was barely middle aged - leaving the culture an example of a fragmented embodied code by which to live. The messianic model, itself, is a cliff face; and one that damns humanity to compose songs of veneration as posthumous awards. The lyrics retrace the footsteps of a romanticised figure, a young man. This song is the very nature of grief, charged with a prevailing sense of wonder about a person, even after their death, up against one of the most dramatic musical backdrops you’ll ever hear; with an enormously grand sounding melody for a piece so chilling.
3. Spaceman by The Killers
My love for this magnificent song is in its compassion for souls who are elaborately irrational. Its effectiveness lies in its ability to draw on themes such as mental illness, alien abduction and a failed suicide attempt for inspiration, in a way that avoids being contrived. Our protagonist undergoes a series of tumultuous internal events - all far beyond his own hope of influence. It is only during the pre chorus when he begins to verbalise his self doubt - turning inward, with non accusatory, childlike self enquiry; resulting in the bifurcation of the mind into the observer and the madness within. It is a cytolysis of perception, whereby delusion and reality are both mutually acknowledged, before re-dissolving into one another. Amidst inward turbulence, our narrator is, rather endearingly, unfazed by the taboo nature of the subject matter consistent with his thoughts. “Spaceman” is an iconoclastic representation of psychiatric disease as power in its ability to stand alone.
4. New York City Cops by The Strokes
This song successfully epitomises its time and place - New York City at the turn of the millennium. Not many artists, these days, are capable of doing such a thing because they haven’t properly internalised their environment. It’s as if they feel like it’s not even an option available to them, which must be demoralising. The entire song sounds effortless, like it was meant to be. During the chorus, it really sounds like they’re on the run, as if the police are right behind them. The characters’ success and subsequent self satisfaction is implied in the simple, yet effective line “they ain’t too smart”. The trick with lyrics is not to over explain, or else, as an orator, you corrupt your own function. When you do, the story is no longer presentable in the way it should have been; the delivery is no longer its own medium - accurately mirroring, and, in that, endorsing the song’s purpose, again, only, this time, stylistically.
5. Substitute by The Who
This song was an unconscious influence on my 2nd single, which, too, refers to looking past surface level perceptions in its opening lines. A prominent theme in this song is that of coppicing one’s own emotions, lest they devolve into investment in the wrong things. Another is the anticipation of grief in the context of attempting to have personal standards. The true artist intellectualises every loss so successfully that growth and expansion come to him, without failure, in tandem with every bereavement. The narrator in this song is painfully aware of the personal risk involved in enacted self respect. The verses denote the punctuation of one’s life through recollections of experiencing what can’t be had. The line “I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth” to me, refers to being on the outside, looking in on the conditions under which your true potential could be fully unleashed, and, were you given the chance, you could finally thrive.
Stream 'Girls Grow Up Faster Than Boys':