Coronavirus

Seán Barna's 'God Save the Scene' Is a Gorgeous Plea for Our Future: Premiere

Sean Barna
Lindsay Hogan

Sean Barna

Seán Barna's "God Save the Scene" was written before the current pandemic that has most major metropolitan areas on lockdown, but it's message -- that society is well past the point where we need to collectively hit the brakes and consider our future -- couldn't be more timely.

Hailing from the singer-songwriter's upcoming EP Margaret Thatcher of the Lower East Side (May 29), the track opens with a waft of haunting choral voices before Barna's own, which alternates between a gossamer falsetto and a wry, meditative tone reminiscent of Dan Bejar, takes over. A shuffling acoustic guitar and lonely pedal steel bring to mind a widescreen vision of the open plains -- which, not coincidentally, is where the song came to Barna -- before working up to an emphatic fever pitch.

"This is a song I wrote while microdosing on mushrooms and driving across Nebraska in the middle of the night. All I could think about was how climate change is going to end our coastal societies and how we may all need to move to Nebraska," Barna opines.

The lyrics, which predate the situation we find ourselves in, ring eerily prescient. "In this song, the characters exist and interact while a certain state of oblivion begins to crumble, both the personal and societal," Barna explains. "They sense impending disaster but do not entirely accept it. Visions of the end of the world coincide with sitting next to a loved one on their death bed, and these people worry they may be forced to really feel and absorb what's going on around them. These characters go to parties, but something is not quite right -- the medicine has run out, and daybreak is upon us. The fun is over. It's time to reduce our serotonin intake and get serious about the state of things. My, oh, my, what a party it was. God save the scene."

"God Save the Scene" features Counting Crows' David Immergluck on mandolin and pedal steel; the band's Adam Duritz duetted with Barna on his last EP, Cissy, which was an incisive look at masculine ego and queer identity.


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