UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays gets 7/10

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays

Jagjaguwar/Inertia Music


On first listen Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays, the third single from Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s fourth album Sex & Food, is disarmingly disco. Although principle songwriter Ruban Nielson has flirted with pop music previously, this is a full blown affair. Gone are the angular guitars we anticipate, replaced by jangly keys and jaunty drumbeats, plus the unexpected inclusion of strings as the song cools down. However, Nielson’s vocals are unmistakable. His signature delivery saves the track from being a slice of full-on French disco.

Lyrically, at first glance, the song seems to hint at a bad drug taking experience, “everyone acts crazy now, but we are taking all kinds of shit,” but on closer inspection the words are definitely up for interpretation. For example, they could be applied to anxiety (“I’m caught beyond the feeling I won’t live far beyond this”), being medicated (“forward despite this feeling”) or even the current climate in world politics (“we’re growing in a vicious garden, we don’t complain or nothing”).

Perhaps it’s a combination of all of the above or a commentary on the Kiwi’s adopted country, the USA? The message may be elusive but the track is pretty groovy, and will definitely grow on you.