by Niccolo Dante Porcello (@chromechompsky)
Boston-based power pop trio halfsour have announced a new album Charm School, and shared the first single from the record. “Ten Year Tenure” is fiery and catchy effort, a relentlessly energetic song that showcases a knack for making kinetic and invigorating rock. “Ten Year Tenure,” courtesy of member Zöe Wyner, is predicated on an intoxicating guitar riff that builds and repeats throughout the duration of the song, while the rhythm section drives halfsour forward at a steady clip. Wyner’s bubblegum pitch and impressive inflection are the main attraction here, and they do not disappoint, making “TYT” come off as a saccharine tune – however, Wyner says the song: “is focused on everyone moving away from/being driven out of the music scene in Boston and feeling betrayed but also understanding that this city is no longer a sustainable place to live/work as a creative individual,” making it clear that there is more than just a catchy riff at play here.
Wyner repeats a lyrical motif structure around the initial lines: “someone that I once knew/ that I thought was true / someone else I knew/ I once thought was true,” a brilliantly catchy tongue-twister of a phrase that shimmies up and down on top of that incredibly bouncy riff. It makes sense that Wyner is writing about a specific scene, as these vignettes seems ripped straight from the sort of informal information bulletin that comes unasked when being a part a geographic or sonic scene. “Did you hear that so-and-so did such-and-such?” It’s an inescapable conversation that is had in basements from Allston to San Diego, and is often ruthless in its ability to distort. halfsour illuminate this quandary well.
All things told, halfsour are confidently zeitgeisty on “Ten Year Tenure” and keep alive the present wave of excellent, dissatisfied, and engaging music coming out of a city that, like most in this world, is not especially kind to artists.