Jimmy Eat World released its fourth studio album Futures on the eve of the 2004 election. It led with its title track, an upbeat rocker featuring lines like “I hope for better in November” and “believe your voice can mean something.” The Arizonans were never completely open about what they were getting at (even if it was a tad obvious) but for the 2016 election, they’ve come clean with an overtly political song.
It’s called “My Enemy” and it’s from the Dave Eggers-curated “30 Days, 30 Songs” series, which has since expended to 50 songs because apparently musicians really, really want to write songs against Donald Trump. You gotta hand it to Jimmy Eat World: The quartet continuously puts out memorable modern rock music that, despite not rewriting any rule book, is so poignant and proficient it demands attention. This one’s a statement toward Jimmy Eat World’s heavier side, with some eerie vocal effects in the chorus and some surprise screaming at the end that’ll have you recalling their set staple “Bleed American.”
“There are dangerous and very real consequences for using fear of ‘The Other’ to motivate a potential electorate,” the band wrote in sharing the track, likely referencing Trump’s fear-mongering. “The only way to steel yourself against that kind of manipulation is to do the real self-work in discovering and letting go of your own fears.” Find the band’s full message, along with the lyrics, here.
Recently, Jimmy Eat World discussed the 2016 election on Billboard’s Pop Shop Podcast, stopping by to promote its 2016 album Integrity Blues.
For more on the election, check out Billboard’s interview with Death Cab for Cutie on how it helped launch the “30 Days, 30 Songs” project.