There’s plenty of things to be anxious about.
Human People make that clear on the latest single from their forthcoming record, Butterflies Drink Turtle Tears. “Black Flowers” starts off with an isolated drum beat that smacks of a 1960s girl group sound (think: “My Boyfriend’s Back”). Rather than hew to the sort of outdated heteronormative narrative that typified that genre, though, the Brooklyn band gives voice to internal anxiety about who is really to blame for one’s own problems. Singer Hayley Livingston oozes apathy as she asks some pretty heavy questions: “Am I lying to myself and maybe everyone else?” “What’s the point of living when you’re always alone?” “Where will you be when you’re already done with me?”
Musically, Human People aren’t breaking any ground here. It’s a catchy enough punk ballad that clocks in at just under two minutes. But the duality between the gravity of Livingston’s words and the indifferent tone of her voice elevates the song beyond its fairly standard structure, with charmingly ironic results.
Ultimately, “Black Flowers” doesn’t answer any of the questions it asks; they’re the kinds of questions best processed through true self-reflection, anyway. But any anxious person knows it’s easier to lean into despair and accept your capacity to ruin everything. Nobody can blame them for that—they’re only human.
“Butterflies Drink Turtle Tears” drops Friday via Exploding in Sound. Human People play Baby’s Alright on November 17 with Slow Pulp.