No. 1, “Insect Politics,” an apologia for political nihilism resting on layers of ominous strings, halting percussion, and various synthetic objects that crescendoes toward a cathartic chorus in which politicians are pegged as regressive creatures bent on stunting human evolution.
Too much cable news. “I was just viewing MSNBC and Fox News and all this stuff and thinking about how all these hundreds of thousands of years of evolution have led us to what everything is [now]—just all this advertising and marketing,” says Carlos Gonzalez, the song’s author. “Insect Politics” is named for its climactic refrain: “The insect politicians/The white washed concentrations/Don’t disappoint our eyes.” Translation: Political discourse is reductive, blinding, and immensely popular. This doesn’t bode well for the species—a point the band drives home musically. “The song starts from, like, the origins of life on the planet,” Gonzalez says. “At the beginning there’s that little drone and there’s not much going on. And then all of a sudden the piano comes in, and the drums switch up…it gets a lot more organized, really, really quickly.” And then? “Then it sort of destroys itself.”
Gonzalez wanted the song to devolve into noise, while the rest of the band wanted it to resolve in a reprise of the chorus. “We finally decided to just have it out, right in front of this porn-slash-lingerie shop,” Gonzalez says. “So we’re having this philosophic conversation about this song and what we really want it to be, and the background was this store selling lingerie for pregnant women.”