One of the hallmarks of a New York summer is leaving New York and realizing how good life is elsewhere. Like an inaugural psychedelic experience, it’s a perfectly ordinary story that’s full of transformative revelations for the person living it. There are other places, and in those places there are sometimes trees! It doesn’t smell like trash! You can go to sleep early and read books instead of spending every night drinking warm beer at the same show as all of your exes!
The part you don’t talk about is the part where two days into your trip, even as you’re casually Instagramming majestic vistas for hate-likes, you’re also draining your data plan lurking photos of the shows you’re not at, thinking about the exes and crushes and worries that still take up space in your head no matter how many miles you put between you and them.
The new PWR BTTM single, “West Texas”, coming in right on time for the last getaway days of August, holds onto both of these premises. Liv Bruce and Benjamin Hopkins start optimistically, singing “You left New York for West Texas / To avoid all of your exes” and take off to New Jersey, Rhode Island, Northampton. But by the end of the song, even the great wide open reveals itself to be the same small world: “The stars above me are the same stars above you / I try to play it cool but I still love you.”