Dashboard Confessional's "We Fight" Is The Rallying Cry That '90s Kids Deserve
Get ready for endless nostalgia: your one-time favorite band Dashboard Confessional's new song "We Fight" is everything. Rolling Stone reports that this will be the first track off Dashboard Confessional's album, Crooked Shadows, which is set to drop in February 2018 — and, as Rolling Stone notes, will be their first record since Alter the Ending in 2009. But back to the song. If you've been missing the heavy-on-the-feels stylings of songwriter Chris Carrabba, then thank the heavens, because this track has all the things you Stan-ed Dashboard Confessional so hard for in the late '90s and early '00s.
Soaring vocals? Check. Emotional revelations? Check. Rocking chorus? You bet. It's really wonder fans have been so excited about the new song dropping. Especially when you consider that the band's 2017 musical outing is good enough to whet Dashboard even lackluster fans' musical appetite for Crooked Shadows. While musically, the track sounds familiar, if you think the 42-year-old is the same songwriter he was as on The Swiss Army Romance, you'd be mistaken. According to Carrabba's interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 (which is embedded in the Rolling Stone article), there's more broader, political significance to the song than his more confessional tracks of yore like "Screaming Infidelities."
Carrabba explained that while, at the time of writing, the song was based on personal experience, but, in the months that passed, he found it took on a whole new political dimension. He told Lowe that,
"I thought for sure it was just about how I found a place in the world, which was worth fighting for, which was the music scene that I come from. I wasn’t cool in school. I didn’t fit in."
And, sure, fans can see this aspect of the track in the lyrics, with the song starting on the line, "We were the kids that left home probably too young" and describing its target group, "a kid somewhere that needs to hear this," as someone, "who's tired of bleeding and battered and being torn up." In some ways, it's every bit as emotional as any other Carrabba song. But then, time passed, as it has a way of doing, and things changed.
Carrabba explained to Lowe that the political environment in the U.S. changed "almost days after writing that song," and the progress made under the Obama administration "had been threatened to be undone and I realized that people have beliefs worth protecting, worth standing up for and I found a residence in that." In short, he realized that, without even meaning to, he'd penned a political anthem.
This interpretation is supported by a statement by the songwriter that Rolling Stone quoted, in which he argued:
"Every album is personal, but as this album was coming together I realized, especially as the world’s political climate was rapidly changing, that 'personal' did not necessarily mean 'mine' – suddenly, 'me' became 'we' and that realization was empowering, comforting and terrifying all at once."
The lyrics also support this interpretation in lines like:
"Cause we never learned to keep our voices down
No, we only learned to shout
So we fight our way in
And we fight our way out
And we earned what we could from the ground up"
In a weird sort of way, this song actually feels stronger as a rousing anthem about the need to fight for your rights than it does a melancholy track about feeling like you're kind of a loser and the necessity of having to fight your way through life as a misfit.
So, basically, your favorite band is back, and they've delivered a rallying cry that's pitch perfect for 2017. And, in (yet another) garbage fire of a year, that's something to celebrate.