Race to the Bottom

Songfacts®:

  • This energetic first single from Unmake finds the Canadian singer-songwriter tackling the topic of nostalgia.

    When we spoke with Dan Mangan, he revealed to us why he's so fascinated by that theme. "I think the future and the past are equally hypothetical," he said. "I can predict with some sense of certainty how life will feel in a month. I can with the same logic remember with the same element of reality or truth what life was like a month ago. All perspectives on the past are entirely relative. The idea that things intrinsically were just better is so stupid to me because they never were. It's all relative."

    "The idea that things used to be better is fantasy," he continued. "It's putting a halo on something that no one can disprove. To say, 'It used to be better,' nobody can say, 'Well, no it wasn't.' It's like telling a story that is self-aggrandizing about someone who has passed away, when they can't tell the other side of the story.

    What you're talking about is the past. It's a facade. I think the only thing that we even have a small tangent of reality or truth about is right now - the moment that is happening right this second. Everything else is up for grabs."
  • The lyrics of the bridge perfectly depict Mangan's views of nostalgia:

    Don't know what it was but we want it back
    Like every generation will repeat the last
    Put a halo on a figurehead or photograph
    Resist a little bit, and then become "the man"
    Dreaming of a simpler time, it occurs to me
    That the past is hypothetical fantasy
    And nostalgia just ain't what it used to be
  • Loel Campbell from the Canadian indie-rock band Wintersleep played drums on this track.

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