Area Resident fires up the retro-rockets and blasts into the future his new space-age single Quasar — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
Propelled by a tensely chugging space-surf backbeat straight from the indie-rock ’90s and topped with dusty post-glam vocals reminiscent of Urge Overkill’s Nash Kato, Ottawa multi-tasker Doug Hempstead’s latest release is 4:45 of solid thrust that delivers a massive payload in the form of searing ray-gun guitars, swirling backup vocals and the fatalistic earworm refrain: “I don’t care if it’s the only way out.”
A pre-Christmas non-holiday single produced by frequent collaborator and lifelong pal Jordon Zadorozny of Blinker The Star (who also adds drums, lead guitar and backing vocals), Quasar is the title track from Hempstead’s upcoming album, his sixth in as many years. Oddly enough, it was the last song to be written and recorded for the release.
“I knew I wanted to call the album Quasar, I decided that back in the summer when I was hooked on this Robert Pollard song called Subspace Biographies. The word is in the refrain, but it also reminds me of 1980s television sets,” he says. “Anyway, I realized I didn’t have a song called Quasar yet, so I wrote one.”
The lyrics, Hempstead admits, might sound like a dark, dystopian tale of reaching for the stars in a futile, desperate bid to escape impending ecological catastrophe. But actually, he maintains they have absolutely no meaning — apart from paying tribute to one of his daughter’s favourite Spongebob lines about “everything being chrome in the future.”
Mostly, the cut is simply flavoured with the excitement of a post-divorce songwriter in his 40s who’s found new love and been sober for a year. All good stuff, and it shows.