How does a song purportedly about drowning manage to soar this high? The Geeks continue to be an indie-rock conundrum, and we’re not complaining
The Geeks’ buildup to its Lilystars debut record has been a veritable tour of varied alleys-of-sound within a larger indie-rock labyrinth. “The First Time” is a self-described “bad” kundiman take; “She’s Leaving and I’m Wasting Away” is more ‘90s-flavored and alt-leaning; and “All My Favorite Songs” refracts indie through a Beach-Boys-by-way-of-Rivers-Cuomo lens.
Their newest single, “The Song of Yesteryear,” traverses the same trajectory, which is to say, the trajectory of no-trajectory-at-all.
And needless to say, that’s actually a good thing.
It is this commitment to variety—within otherwise very limiting constraints, if we’re being honest—that makes the band’s forthcoming record (‘Sitcom Theme Songs,’ projected for a December release) a must-tick-off in everyone’s watch-out list in the last couple of months of 2022.
“The song’s theme is still very consistent with our body of work; it’s still a sad-happy song with hints of existential dread, which we’ve been known for,” the group shares, cognizant of their place in the sun, sure, but also with a self-awareness that borders on a mission.
As perhaps the last advance single for their very soon-to-be-released full record, it’s tasteful moodsetter in the vein of Rocketship, Pia Fraus, and choice boy-girl indie-pop groups.
The track, a sing-song boy-girl ditty featuring guest vocals from Formerly Maryknoll’s Jillian Santiago—an inspired choice, it has to be said—is purportedly about “drowning in a sinking ship,” and the problematizing of the inevitable that this typically entails.
The band admits “Yesteryear” is a precis of their pandemic-related fears, and though drowning themes are prevalent in the annals of song (trad track “Oh, My Darling Clementine” and Alvvays’ “Next of Kin” are name-checked in the quartet’s statement), they trust it’s a worthy homage in “this weird subcategory of tragic songs.”
As always, there is a pervading charm in this song that’s vintage Geeks: no reinventing the wheel; no bells and whistles; no self-conscious celebrations of the obtuse. It’s just a singable tune with loads of memorable guitar work, a driving rhythm, and a sentiment that, while it borders on self-flagellation, doesn’t wallow in plodding, humorless doomsaying.
Singer-guitarist Jam Lorenzo, guitarist-singer Nigel Cristobal, bassist Karlo Borbon, and drummer Brian Sangco have got a pretty good M.O. going, and here’s to hoping they remain on this same trajectory, which in their case is the trajectory of what-trajectory, fuck-trajectories.
A DIY music video for “The Song of Yesteryear” will be out very soon. Forthcoming LP ‘Sitcom Theme Songs’ (in all its thirteen-track glory) has just been mastered. Keep tabs on The Geeks’ socials for more deets on the December launch. In the meantime, you know what to do: stream the shit out of the new track to tide you over until then.