Standout Track: No. 4, “Not My Song,” whose ramshackle rhythms, twangy guitar, and quavering organ are bleak but beautiful. In a strained tenor, Sam Bishop sings, “I’ve been complicit in the master’s plan/I’m both the trigger and the triggerman/And through the little lies that I’ve been buying/I imply, I’ve fully complied.”
Musical Motivation: Bishop wrote the song at the tail end of the Bush administration, around when, you know, the American public started getting fed up over a tanking economy and unwinnable wars. “There was a real, cumulative sense of anger about what was going on,” he recalls, but few people acted on their ire. “Basically this is a song about armchair activism.” Lejeune didn’t record the track until last winter—a year into the Obama administration—and the band worried “Not My Song” wasn’t relevant anymore. Then Republicans regained power of the House of Representatives last month, triggering more ineffective liberal hand-wringing. “We just had to wait four years for the song to become topical again,” says keyboard player James Forte.
The Basement Takes: “Not My Song” was recorded in the Alexandria basement of bassist Gabriel Fry. It was the band’s last chance to record before drummer Greg Gendron moved to Japan, and they had already flubbed three takes. Gendron gave the band a pep talk—which introduces the song on the recording—saying “Stop fucking around, let’s just get this thing done.” It was then, the last take of the last song on Lejeune’s final EP, that the band’s sound crystallized, Gendron says. “It took a lot of the elements we have been playing with all these years and brought them together,” he says. “It’s a good resting place for Lejeune.”