All At Once

Album: All At Once (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • Mortality and sudden changes in life inform much of Los Angeles indie rock group The Airborne Toxic Event's second album and the title track finds frontman Mikel Jollett singing about how "our parents have died, and we hold on to each other in their place." He explained to Spinner UK why he titled the album after this track: "A lot of the songs seem to be centering around the theme of how quickly life turns on these events that happen. There's this idea of evolution and incremental change, but for the most part, we really have this punctuated equilibrium. You have your life and then some event happens to you and it changes you in some important way.

    I had a lot of family members pass away in the past couple years, since the last record came about: three grandparents, plus my uncle. You start to see your life from a long view and some of the things that maybe seemed really important before don't seem quite as important, and some of the things that you didn't think were as important seem way more important. The birth of a child, the death of a parent, the financial meltdown - it changes things very, very quickly. Suddenly everything is different. A lot of the songs are dealing with that theme in different ways. So, we figured it made sense to call the record that."

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