Reviews Zone

Bleachers: Self-titled (Dirty Hit) Out now…

* Album Of The Month [March 2024] *


5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)



US artist, musician, songwriter and producer Jack Antonoff lives a double life. Under the pseudonym Bleachers, he is a red hot ticket and the temperature has risen even more for the wunderkind since the very recent release of Bleachers’ fourth album, their first on UK label Dirty Hit. This new self-titled long player is a triumph.

Met with widespread critical acclaim, summed by one media source as “nothing short of remarkable”. You can tell what we think of the release; when you read the strapline above: Album of The Month.

“There’s a rich depth to the band’s sound on Bleachers, laid out in bright, soulful technicolour. The album is front man Jack Antonoff’s distinctly New Jersey take on the bizarre sensory contradictions of modern life, on his position in culture, and on the things he cares about. Sonically, it’s sad, it’s joyful, it’s music for driving on the highway to, for crying to and for dancing to at weddings. There’s something reassuringly touchable and concrete about its sentiment – exist in crazy times but remember what counts,” says the PR blurb. Good points well made say I.

The three albums before this one, “Strange Desire” in 2014; “Gone Now” in 2017; and “Take The Sadness Out of Saturday Night” in 2021, were written through the lens of the loss of his younger sister in 2001.

The fourth album, began as a set-piece on the idea of tribute living. “It’s not regressive. If anything, it’s the opposite,” says Jack. “If anything, this concept of tribute living makes you want to fly into the future so hard, because someone else couldn’t.” But his personal and professional life began to hit an apex of hope as he began writing this album in 2022. He met the love of his life, now his wife, and Bleachers were playing to bigger crowds, still young enough to find it exciting and old enough to be a band that’s as worn-in and emotionally dedicated as a marriage.

He says: “It just felt like all of a sudden this world was opening up on both sides. Often things happen in your personal life, or things happen with the band, but to have them so extremely connected in this big new future felt pretty heavy and exactly what I’ve been banging on about on a lot of the past records,” he says. While this move away from seeing the world explicitly through the loss of his sister is something he on occasion feels guilty about, it is, in fact, the very meaning of tribute living.

A rich depth to the band’s sound here, one that Jack notes is legitimised by their ‘secret presence’ everywhere: they’re the band on the last six Taylor Swift albums, the last three Lana Del Rey albums and last two St Vincent albums. Long-time collaborator Lana Del Rey joins him on the track “Alma Mater”.

Rousing anthem “Self-Respect” emerged from Jack’s exhaustion at feeling he has to be perfect in his personal life. It pins together different events from across time and space: ‘the profundity of his sister’s death, the strange biblical nature of Kobe Bryant’s death, the idiocy of Kendall Jenner in that Pepsi commercial….’

Live is a different ball game for Bleachers, and their stock value rises and rises: They have just announced details of their biggest headline show to date; at Madison Square Garden, with the band set to bring their renowned live show to “the world’s most famous arena” in New York City on Friday 4th October 2024. [See tour dates at the bottom of the page].

Bleachers played across the UK in March before the US leg in May and June, and back to these shores in the summer for Reading & Leeds festivals, and a gig at London’s Brixton Academy.

Described as “anthemic, life affirming pop rock” by the New York Times, Bleachers are fronted by globally celebrated, eight-time Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, musician and producer Jack Antonoff. Releasing their debut album “Strange Desire” in 2014, the band have built a huge and passionate following across their three studio albums, becoming renowned for their impressive live show and infectious camaraderie.

The band’s last album, “Take The Sadness Out Of Saturday Night”, took them to new heights, showcasing Antonoff’s immersive songwriting. Both with Bleachers and as a songwriter and producer, Antonoff, who in 2021 was credited by the BBC for having “redefined pop music”, has collaborated with the likes of Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, Lorde, The 1975, Diana Ross, St Vincent, Florence & The Machine and many more.

In February this year, Jack Antonoff won Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) at the 66th annual Grammy Awards for a third consecutive year, becoming only the second producer in history to win three years running. This brand new 14-track gem of an album is surely a shoo-in for his next Grammy and for Jack’s local furniture store to flog him a bigger trophy cabinet!


Words: Christopher Weston



1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5) ‘Dull Zone’
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Tour dates:


Sat 24 Reading Festival
Sun 25 Leeds Festival
Tue 27 London Brixton Academy
Fri 30 Berlin Columbiahalle


Sun 01 Cologne E-Werk
Mon 02 Paris L’Olympia
Wed 04 Amsterdam Paradiso




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