“I wanna know. I wanna know. I wanna know,” the chorus tolls in Pushpin’s newest single, “Folds”. Written back in early 2020, the South London band captures the elusiveness of self-love and affirmation in repeated self-help mantras and spikey orchestration.
It’s a zeitgeist of the inner struggle brought on by 2020. The driving bass beat that opens the track, quiet lyrics laced with undirected pleading energy, and intense riffs infusing a cracked world into otherwise pristine harmonies—every promise, both lyrical and instrumental, is flipped on its head at the next musical beat.
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Within the first minute, a grungy harmony strums under the syncopated, warm guitar arpeggiation. The bouncy energy promises a fun melodic turn before descending into controlled noise over the returning bass beat. When the chaotic apex appears to arrive, a sudden shift to an organ synth teetering on an unbalanced peace begging for the anthesis of resolution–more manic instrumentation. It never comes.
But the unexpected twists lift this song from a standard pessimistic post-punk piece to something uniquely Pushpin. With a dark, contemplative thread in every note, quiet moments that don’t let you rest, and a catchy beat that makes you happy while you wonder if you really should be, they’ve folded hope and rage into undermined promises. So vicariously search for self-love with them.
Stream “Folds” below.
Ben is an advertising Madman who spends his days with words and music. When he’s not writing for his supper, he’s eating it at some of NYC’s most interesting restaurants.