Jeff Rosenstock’s POST- was one of our favorite releases of January. As Ben Salmon wrote, ”POST- feels less like an album and more like a document of tightly knit people working hard to make something that feels cathartic and good.” A couple of weeks ago, Rosenstock visited the Paste studio for an urgent and honest performance. Between songs, he talked about hiding away to make POST- and offered his thoughts on the current state of society. But if you thought the brazen songwriter would have a “fuck-it” attitude towards the world, you’d be wrong.
“I just hope that we can turn this year into action,” Rosenstock said. “Getting every Republican out of every seat we can possibly get them out of in the midterms, and showing people that we’re not going to stand for this shit. Show the people who represent us that we need to be represented properly, because right now we’re not.”
Throughout POST-, Rosenstock is disaffected, but not hopeless. “USA,” which Rosenstock performed acoustically for Paste, is a seven-and-a-half-minute political anthem that stretches into a sprawling synth refrain (“we’re tired and bored”), then bursts out with raging chants of “Et tu, USA!” There is anger in its conclusion, but there’s comfort, too, in a way that’s oddly satisfying, and evokes a feeling of community.
As Rosenstock told Paste, he’s ready to “start fucking fighting.”
“I think we can do it, because the alternative to not doing it is just be like, ‘Oh man, we’re already so fucked,’ which I think is pointless and unhealthy and stupid.”
Watch Rosenstock’s full Paste session below, including “USA,” “All This Useless Energy,” and a cover of Rilo Kiley’s “Portions for Foxes.”