My Top 1000 Songs #170: Future Me Hates Me
And, yeah, I'm torn on this one. It's the first song to make the list from the past five years (off the band's impressive 2018 debut of the same name), again raising the question of how long one needs to wait before concluding a song has the staying power to be considered an all-time-great. (Up til this point, the most recent song has been Josh Ritter's "Getting Ready To Get Down," from 2015.)
But at this point The Beths have released 3 LPs, all fine work, confirming they've got real staying power and aren't just some flash-in-the-pan act with one nifty tune. And playing this song today, I'm still totally blown away; it's one of those songs that I need to listen to from start-to-finish, losing none of its power on multiple replays.
It's the pinnacle of noise-pop: A ridiculously catchy power-pop tune that demands you sing along, but with some crunchy guitars necessitating maximum volume. The number stands as a fine introduction to Elizabeth Stokes' vocal charm, girl-next-door sweetness accentuated by those neat little octave hops (even if I can't always penetrate her accent). And the back-end of the song offers infectious woo-ooh oohs and bah-bah-bahs and a delightful harmony-rich vocal round. Every trick in the book, nailed perfectly.
Ultimately, though, what elevates the song among so many other fun-yet-not-necessarily-unforgettable mixtape pop tunes is a truly brilliant lyric gimmick, taking your standard doomed-from-the-start bad relationship and viewing it from the vantage point of future you, pissed at you for another dumb decision. I just find that incredibly inventive, the tongue-twister chorus endlessly fascinating.
"There's something about you I wanna risk going through: Future heartbreak, future headaches, wide-eyed nights late lying awake. With future cold shakes from stupid mistakes future me hates me for."
Plus a great video. What's not to love?