First Listen: Spoon's New Single, "Written in Reverse," is Dark and Dirty

Spoon's "Written in Reverse" is the first single off Transference, which drops Jan. 19.
If the first single is any indication, Spoon's new album Transference will be filled with deconstructed pop and angsty vocals. "Written in Reverse" features the same sound Spoon trademarked on 2001's Girls Can Tell, but it's amplified and stronger--and darker, too.

The single has a similar melody to "I Turn My Camera On," the incredibly catchy single from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Gimme Fiction: the notes start and stop, falling up and down, giving the song a bouncy pulse. But "Written in Reverse" takes all the pop sensibility of the band's last single and smartly breaks it apart. The tinkling xylophone and repetitive guitar from on "I Turn My Camera On" are replaced with a banged-out, broken piano. Lead singer Britt Daniel's distinctive voice has become a near wail, evening breaking into a full scream at the song's climax.

"Written in Reverse" is catchy, but it's not a singalong-styled song; it's angsty and dark, more post-punk than pop. Lyrics reference calling a hearse, blank stares, and a soon-to-be classic line about drugs: "It feels so good/ but only briefly like high school poppers would/ and you lose a bit of yourself." It sounds like Daniel locked himself in his Portland basement long enough to go a little bit crazy. Might be bad for his sanity, but it's great for his songwriting.

Take a listen for yourself. "Written in Reserve" is currently streaming on NPR. And available for purchase on iTunes.

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