Race to the Bottom


  • 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.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: Tarantino Edition

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: Tarantino EditionMusic Quiz

Whether he's splitting ears or burning Nazis, Quentin Tarantino uses memorable music in his films. See if you can match the song to the scene.

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"They're Playing My Song

Dean's saga began with "Ariel," a song about falling in love with a Jewish girl from New Jersey.

Album Cover Inspirations

Album Cover InspirationsSong Writing

Some album art was at least "inspired" by others. A look at some very similar covers.

Roger McGuinn of The Byrds

Roger McGuinn of The ByrdsSongwriter Interviews

Roger reveals the songwriting formula Clive Davis told him, and if "Eight Miles High" is really about drugs.

Tommy James

Tommy JamesSongwriter Interviews

"Mony Mony." "Crimson and Clover." "Draggin' The Line." The hits kept coming for Tommy James, and in a plot line fit for a movie, his record company was controlled by the mafia.

Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles

Timothy B. Schmit of the EaglesSongwriter Interviews

Did this Eagle come up with the term "Parrothead"? And what is it like playing "Hotel California" for the gazillionth time?