“I wanted it to be a little nostalgic but also innovative. I wanted it to feel like what the subject matter would sound like: flooding orchestral arrangements, strange tape sounds, and liquid, kind of moaning guitar lines – I think of music texturally in that way, and this record’s pretty dense with information. I spent a lot of time in the studio doing ambient experimentation along with classical arrangements and just straight rock and roll stuff.”
Like much of Titanic Rising and its 2016 predecessor Front Row Seat to Earth, a song like Movies taps into that sense of unease increasingly common among Mering’s generation, as post-GFC economic inequalities, environmental collapse, and ‘millennial burnout’ have left many feeling like Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack: handcuffed to the lower decks of a ship that’s drifting towards an iceberg.
“A lot of kids coming of age now don’t remember the 90s, they glorify it but they don’t remember it. That malaise, basically, that all the succeeding generations after baby boomers have had, because we’re all under the weight of them.
“I think in some ways the nihilism comes from a place of spiritual exhaustion – I think it’s no coincidence that the climate change movement is now fronted by teenagers. These people haven’t had to go into the world and make a living and find out how things really work. Most millennials I know aren’t just disconnected, they’re exhausted, kind of wrapped in treadmills trying to figure out how to recreate this middle-class life they thought they should have.”
Which, shipwrecks notwithstanding, is rarely how things played out in the movies.