Say Anything frontman Max Bemis has always impressed me with his uncanny ability to craft songs that are simultaneously tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating, introspective, offbeat, and catchy. On this new track from his upcoming album “Hebrews” (out June 10), Bemis definitely puts an emphasis on the self-deprecating. In the opening verse he suggests that maybe he has “lost [his] touch at crafting Say Anything songs,” so a new generation of musicians can just go “take [his] place on stage.” He then gives them a little set of instructions for how to do so: “Just string together lines of smug self-loathing bile/And bear the chip your shoulder holds away.” Few artists take such a raw look at themselves in the way that Bemis does here, and that’s one of the many things that keeps drawing me back to his music.
The song’s stripped down, piano-based instrumentation is especially effective in conveying Bemis’ bleak yet bitingly humorous introspection. Christie DuPree’s harmonies add a yearning and a sweetness to the song’s bitterness, and Touche Amore frontman Jeremy Bolm’s raw, gritty screaming on the final verse leaves listeners with a powerful lasting imprint of Bemis’ internal struggles and insecurities.
Stream “Losing My Touch” via Alt Press.