Boy, times have changed in music. Whereas a climate used to exist where artists — Bowie — could camp out in the studio, put out some magnum opus and shun the stage if they felt like it, the advent of streaming has thrown the majority of artists into the same wrestling ring. In a field where creative expression should be the end-all, the battle for attention and clicks can be discouraging and exhausting.
Good thing we have self-aware jams like Meg Myers’ “Numb” to see that for what it is. Therein, piano and electronics gnaw at the alt-rock arrangement from the periphery like a dog chewing its own fur. The lyrics are for the ages, capturing that faceless anxiety of whether or not you might “make it”: “I’m in your custody/ But I’m not a criminal/ I can be your next best thing.” Says Myers: “‘Numb’ relates to the many pressures of life and our reactions to this weight. It has to do with our society, how we relate to others and how we relate to ourselves. When this burden becomes too much and we can no longer run… we essentially numb out.”
That said, the cathartic “Numb” leaves you with a paradoxically life-affirming feeling, a weapon against the modern-day frustrations inherent in life and music. Listen below: