Bleachers’ newest single “Stop Making This Hurt” could easily be found in the soundtrack of a coming-of-age film. The signature Bleachers sound certainly has this quality, which may or may not have to do with leading man Jack Antonoff’s inexplicable talent for infectious hits. It was nothing short of a joy to pick this single up the moment I saw it released.
It’s been a busy couple of years for Antonoff, even with the global pandemic. He collaborated with Taylor Swift on Lover, Folklore, and Evermore, the second of which has recently won Album of the Year at the 2021 Grammy Awards. Antoff also worked with Lana Del Rey on Norman Fucking Rockwell! in 2019 and collaborated with several other pop artists in the industry, from the most familiar faces to up-and-coming talent.
“Stop Making This Hurt” is delightful and infectious in sound with something a little more provoking beneath the surface. More subdued and focused on production and musical tonal value, the song starts to paint the portrait for Bleachers’ third studio album, Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night; what it means in relation to the rest of Bleachers’ discography; and what it signifies for Jack Antonoff as an artist. Bleachers’ other recent singles “Chinatown (ft. Bruce Springsteen) and “45’ were reflective of this, as well.
The call to arms for this album—and this single in particular—feels reflective of a world trying to come out of the dark. Antonoff was quoted in a Rolling Stone article, mentioning that the phrase “stop making this hurt” had latched into his mind during a very difficult period of time. This story presents itself—to this listener—as a way to fight through what feels like one hardship after another. There’s almost a fear of wondering what happens after the fall—including lovely callbacks to lyrics to “Chinatown”—and it leaves listeners wanting just the same.
Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night is being released on July 30th; It might be just what the summer of 2021 needs.