Giant Waste of Man is plugged into the existential despair of the world today and in 2021 and 2022 spinning that into thoughtful and gentle songs about sorting through the deluge of feelings and panning for nuggets of truth in the floodstream of experiences and information that are definitely trending bleak and perilous. In the video for “Summer, after” we see a landscape in near sepia tones that depict perhaps the Los Angeles skyline in the background and immediately taking you back, if you remember the imagery or if you were there, when the Bay Area looked like Blade Runner 2049. The lonely piano figure, the ominous drones, the delicate brush of acoustic guitar riffs and hushed vocals in warm harmony make this song seemingly about all the desperate and dramatic gestures, all the bravado, all the surefire plans of rescue and renewal, the talk of returning to normal is just the conditioning of culture flexing in your heart all while you know it amounts to zero and that we are living in a time when bolder and quicker action are called for not fueled by the corrosive ideas and ideologies that have guided civilization for hundreds of years down a path of destruction and fascism. But we were never prepared for this, we were told all kinds of lies about how things are, how obeying this rule and that rule and working hard and all that nonsense about meritocracy and institutions and the rule of law preserving a just way of life—the way it has played out has hollowed out our lives and our civilization while we do pretty much nothing in the face of authoritarian rule barreling down in reaction to a weak “moderate” government serving almost entirely narrow moneyed interests and warping all collective effort in service to a profit that won’t matter if billions die in climate/ecological disaster or nuclear war. This song humanizes this backdrop of the thinking of anyone with a real awareness of what’s going on in the world and has any sense of things. When you hear the lyrics at the end of the song “Never was a man OK with a lie/When the truth was right in front of me” it just makes it simple to dispense with the chaff compromised public discourse and take life and the world on its own terms which may be one of the only paths through the rough times ahead. Musically it might be reminiscent for some of Broken Social Scene minus the dense electronic component but tonally of Low in the twenty-first century with its combination of vulnerability and emotional truth. Watch the video of “Summer, after” on YouTube and connect with Giant Waste of Man at the links below. The group’s new LP Biographer is due out August 26 on Chain Letter Collective.