The latest song in the Dave Eggers-curated 30 Days, 30 Songs Anti-Trump project comes from EL VY — the team-up of the National vocalist Matt Berninger and Brent Knopf, of indie rock bands Menomena and Ramona Falls. Their protest ditty is called “Are These My Jets.”
In the new song, it sure sounds like Berninger is trying to narrate Trump’s inner thoughts, wondering what to do each day and spouting lines like, “I like to mix ladies’ drinks with my fingers.” In the National’s music, he’s been known to casually toy with the word “America” — without getting overly political — though when he does so here, there are greater forces at play. On the National’s “Fake Empire,” he croons about “bluebirds on our shoulders”; here, the line becomes “Bluebirds blow their brains out on my shoulder.” Find the string-laced track below.
And, courtesy of 2016, “Are These My Jets” arrives accompanied by an online video game, where those bluebirds look a lot like Twitter birds. In an official statement, Berninger addressed the game and some of the song’s more unexpected lyrics:
This is a song about walrus penis jewelry, which is a real thing. My sister, Rachel, was given some by a Canadian bush pilot when she worked for Alaska Airlines in the 90’s. With regard to the game, we called our colleagues, [developer Brent] Sodman and [illustrator John] Solimine, and said, “We’d like a cathartic interactive experience. We’d also like to shoot bluebirds and meat with a sniff blaster.” They asked us, “What for?” Somebody said, “It’s time to start healing.”
Previously, the 30 Days, 30 Songs series featured tracks from Franz Ferdinand, Death Can For Cutie and others. Along with Eggers, the project was conceived by DCFC manager Jordan Kurland. For more, check out Billboard’s interview with Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard on Trump and what 30 Days, 30 Songs has to offer.