Way Less Sad
by AJR

Album: OK Orchestra (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Way Less Sad" deals with the topic of mental health during the coronavirus era. Released on February 17, 2021 at a time when there was hope that America is over the worst of the pandemic, it finds vocalist Jack Metzger viewing life with some optimism. "'Way Less Sad' is a song about how we're really feeling in this moment," said AJR. "So much of last year felt apocalyptic and this year we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Things aren't back to normal yet but we should be celebrating the small wins, even if they seem trivial."
  • AJR wrote "Way Less Sad" themselves, with Ryan Metzger producing the track. Paul Simon also gets credited because the song is built around a horn sample from Simon & Garfunkel's 1975 hit "My Little Town."
  • AJR released this as the fourth single from OK Orchestra. The group have described the record as the most sonically experimental and emotionally raw of their four albums.
  • The Metzger brothers' childhood friend Edoardo Ranaboldo directed the video, which finds the band performing at several iconic New York City locations, including John F. Kennedy Airport and the famous carousel in Central Park. Ranaboldo also shot the group's "Bummerland" clip.
  • AJR had been working on the song for nine years; eventually everything came together when they had it speak to people's contemporary lifestyles.

    I wake up and I'm not so mad at Twitter now
    Livin' sucks but it's suckin' just a little now
    And I don't wanna cry no more
    So I set my bar real low


    Ryan Metzger explained to ABC Audio the final step was making the song about the present world. "Whether it be politics or who the president is, or whatever," he said. "We had this song that we knew was a relatable concept But then it was like, 'OK, how do we AJR-ify it and contextualize it in a place where people feel like, 'Oh, my God, this is my song right now!?'"

    "That's where some of the lines, like, 'I wake up and I'm not so mad at Twitter now,' came from," Ryan continued. "You could take it in many different ways, whether it's about politics or about about what[ever]. But that's how we kind of turned it into 'OK, only, AJR could put out this song.'"

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