Alright, I've been saving this song until I had enough plays on the new Manchester Orchestra LP, "The Million Masks of God", to know if it was my favorite track on the album.
Spoiler alert: It is.
For those of you that don't know, Manchester Orchestra is a four-piece indie rock band out of the Atlanta area. Their lead singer and primary songwriter, Andy Hull, consistently crafts what could be considered the world's finest rock music at this moment in time. The band's fifth studio album, "A Black Mile to the Surface," was critically acclaimed when it was released in 2017, and vaulted the band to new heights of success and, more importantly, artistic brilliance.
Their latest album, released just one week ago, is considered by many to be a "sister" album to ABMttS, and similarly has been met with high amounts of critical praise and fan satisfaction. The first single off the album, "Bed Head," is a worthy successor to the previous album's lead single, "The Gold," but it's ultimately the shortest and quietest song on the album, "Telepath", that truly strikes me as the record's pinnacle track.
Manchester Orchestra has always done rock music well. Dirty, powerful guitar riffs, screaming choruses and merciless hooks have given fans many reasons to follow the band since their early days way back in 2004. As an admitted fan-boy of the band, I've been following their work since I first heard them in 2009, after an iTunes recommendation for artists similar to my favorite band, Frightened Rabbit.
Of all their earlier tunes, the one with the most ambience, the most lyrical impact, would have to be 2009's "I Can Feel A Hot One", which strikes as one of the most simple, but emotionally powerful, songs in their repertoire. Similarly, 2018's stand alone single, "I Know How to Speak," saw the band strip back the heavy production and overdriven guitars to deliver what is one of the best non-album rock songs I've ever heard (seriously...how was this not on an album????!)
But this song, "Telepath", in its brief 2:29 runtime, delivers a gut-punch of drama, emotion, and lyrical depth that amounts to one of my most beloved songs from one of my most beloved bands. It tells a story of a full lifetime of love in only 2 minutes. And it makes you feel like you know the actors, like you're a party to their secrets. One of the best moments comes at 2:05, and when it hits you can just feel the sadness, hope, love, despair, all bottled up in that one line:
You're the one I wanted,
Want when I am old
These are emotions that many of us can identify with, and that can be felt so vividly when hearing this song, even for the first time. Please listen along and, hopefully, enjoy this song as much as I do.
And just because it's so amazingly good, here's a link to "I Know How to Speak":
The song mentioned in this article, and all entries into my Song of the Moment series, can be found as a public playlist on Spotify. Check it out!