March 27, 2020
Seán Barna Shares “God Save The Scene” Via Billboard | New EP Margaret Thatcher Of The Lower East Side Out May 29th 2020
“Seán Barna’s ‘God Save the Scene’ Is a Gorgeous Plea for Our Future”
“As a queer artist, his own personal struggles have poured out as viscerally as possible.”
“Barna is a thrill to see… wearing Ziggy Stardust on his glittery sleeve,”
– Bob Boilen
“Candid, calculated and weighed by heavy contemplation on masculinity, creating a stunning and sensitive form of songwriting.”
-The Deli Mag
Today, Seán Barna has shared the second single, “God Save The Scene” off of his upcoming EP, Margaret Thatcher Of The Lower East Side. “God Save The Scene” features Dave Immergluck from The Counting Crows on mandolin and pedal steel.
The single was premiered exclusively with Billboard, praising “the track opens with a waft of haunting choral voices before Barna’s own, which alternates between a gossamer falsetto and a wry, meditative tone reminiscent of Dan Bejar, takes over. A shuffling acoustic guitar and lonely pedal steel bring to mind a widescreen vision of the open plains — which, not coincidentally, is where the song came to Barna — before working up to an emphatic fever pitch.”
On the track Barna explains, “This is a song I wrote while microdosing on mushrooms and driving across Nebraska in the middle of the night. All I could think about was how climate change is going to end our coastal societies and how we may all need to move to Nebraska. The inherent anxiety in that thought was compounded by my feeling that we are depraved as a society, so much so that we choose hate over love, division over unity, and Donald Trump over, well, literally anything else. ‘Let’s reduce our serotonin intake,’ is to say: the party is fucking over — as citizens with a voice, we must speak, loud and clear, against the darker parts of our society.
In this song, the characters exist and interact while a certain state of oblivion begins to crumble, both the personal and societal. They sense impending disaster but do not entirely accept it. Visions of the end of the world coincide with sitting next to a loved one on their death bed, and these people worry they may be forced to really feel and absorb what’s going on around them. These characters go to parties, but something is not quite right–the medicine has run out, and day break is upon us. The fun is over. It’s time to reduce our serotonin intake and get serious about the state of things. My, oh, my, what a party it was. God save the scene.”
Margaret Thatcher of the Lower East Side was written in the wake of the national devastation that was the 2016 election, and ironically turns Thatcher, an enemy of marginalized people and the working class, into a queer icon. It begins with a melancholy choir of wordless voices, but soon gets to the point: the most potent way to fight back, as a queer or marginalized person, is to be more unapologetic, more fearless, and more of exactly who you are. It’s time for all of us to steel ourselves, make an entrance, and make a point, screaming back in opposition to those who would threaten our safety or legislate against our lives. Ironically named for someone who did just that, the album is a call to arms — at one point begging God to “save the scene” and then realizing that the messiah just might be a queer songwriter in Denver.
Margaret Thatcher of the Lower East Side was produced by Seán Barna and Dave Drago (1809 Studios, Macedon, NY), with Tommy Sherrod (DC) and Kyle Joseph (NYC), and was mixed and mastered by Dave Drago at 1809 Studios. The album features Dave Immerglück of Counting Crows and Camper Van Beethoven, as well as Alex Northrup, Dave Drago, Tommy Sherrod, Margot MacDonald, Andrew Grossman, Alex Tebeleff, and Ben Zacharia.