More On Than Off
I’ve spent the past year obsessed with any song Jack Antonoff has touched. One day, I looked at all my favorite songs and saw a common thread: Antonoff. Green Light, Out of the Woods, I Wanna Get Better, Stand by You; they all had the same energy of stadium-filling joy. The production equivalent of the “and in that moment, I swear we were infinite” quote from Perks of Being a Wallflower. And he nails it. Every. Time.
You probably know Antonoff from his work with Taylor Swift and Lorde, or for being snubbed by the Grammy’s for 2018 Producer of the Year. His career has gone from being in a band in high school that toured around the country in a minivan to winning Best New Artist with fun. (They had been around for four years at that point if you needed a reminder that the Grammy’s don’t mean anything*) to being on stage during Taylor’s infamous Album of the Year Speech (not going to link it because I love her but it honestly makes me cringe).
In 2015, he released “Wanna Get Better” with his new solo venture, Bleachers. “Wanna Get Better” is part desperate plea, part mirror pep talk that these days will pass and how you are feeling now is not always how you will feel. It was on almost every playlist I made that year. It was the first time I heard an artist admit that things were tough, but they were working through. It wasn't a happy ending, quick fix, or glossy oversimplification. It’s screaming at yourself that yes, you do want to get better.
As Reputation, the Love, Simon Soundtrack, and Lana Del Rey’s newest single, Mariner’s Apartment Complex, came out, my playlist of favorite Antonoff songs, More On Than Off, has gotten longer and longer. I believe in perfect playlist curation, an ideology left over from making mix cds in high school when there was a permanence that doesn’t exist on Spotify, so I don’t just add songs just to add them to the playlist. This isn’t a complete history of Jack’s discography. These are songs that I stand by and want to listen to. And I think you’ll want to too.
*Note how I went from Jack was snubbed to awards don’t matter. This Mulaney bit is essentially my feelings for all awards