AWOLNATION opened up their year with a dream of a single. The surprisingly soft “Handyman,” out Jan. 19, already has over 1,000,000 streams on Spotify.
The Los Angeles electro-pop band is no stranger to success with its smash hit “Sail.” The duo also opened for the Rolling Stones on their Zip Code tour in 2016 in Pittsburgh. Their new single, “Handyman,” however, is a step back from the glitz and glam.
“Handyman,” the fourth and final single off Here Come the Runts before its Feb. 2 release, is possibly the band’s most intimate release yet. The drawn-out, heavily produced intro typical of the band is replaced by a couple of quiet acoustic chords and a soft melody hummed by the backup.
“I’m a sinner/I will consider /I am my father’s son/I’m a sinner/I must consider/I've never owned a gun,” are the first few lines of the song.
The instrumentals remain simplistic and soft throughout the song, especially in comparison to AWOLNATION’s usual work.
The single displays the band’s all-around range as artists and showcases their lyrical talent without the distraction of keyboards and electronic production.
The bridge is the highlight of “Handyman.” “I'm not brittle I'm just a little/Scared of your temperament/I'm not brittle I'm just a little / Scared of my government/I'm not brittle/Head hurts a little/Staring up overhead/I'm not brittle/I'm just a riddle/Born of white, blue and red.”
In “Handyman” AWOLNATION manages to express its fear and anxiety for the state of our country, while maintaining an unbreakable serenade. The love-conquers-all cliche somehow seems original in the way that the band presents it.
“If only yesterday took place tomorrow/I pray for sleep/And wake you and lift your head/So I can fix your hand/I'll be your handyman.”
“Handyman” is one of those songs in which you can tell the artist is actually creating what they want to create, without testing the popularity potential first or obeying their label head.
“Handyman” does not sound like an AWOLNATION song, but it is possibly their most genuine work yet. It paid off for the band to remove itself from its brand for a moment.
Taking gambles has become so rare in the music industry that it’s a novelty when somebody thinks for themselves. “Handyman” is beautiful and untainted by the pressures of the industry it resides in.
Halle Weber is a sophomore studying journalism with a focus in news and information at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Let Halle know by tweeting at her @HalleWeber13.