Video dan campbell the wonder years

Outfacing its sonic forebears, The Hum draws not from angst and apathy, but instead from fear and compassion. “A lot of people that have stayed with the band for all these years are probably in a similar place in their lives,” Brasch said, about the maturity of their themes. The album itself—in the same way that 2015’s No Closer to Heaven told the story of a person grieving a friend to an overdose, personalizing the politics of the opioid crisis—chronicles the worries of a new father witnessing the world around him collapse. Campbell’s aptitude for locating the intimate in the systemic, and vice versa, shines across the dozen tracks. He describes a bracingly familiar dystopia, addled by rising seas, coastal wildfires, and mass shootings. Everything in his world is clouded by “the gray,” but as the record unfolds, shifting tones and styles like a sonic kaleidoscope, colors surface that threaten his depression’s miasma—the pink sunset reflecting off his son’s face and the persistent green of the Eden he’s planting. “Gonna grow you a place that’s safer than this,” he sings.

Campbell really did build a garden box with Wyatt. (“You probably saw it out back,” he said.) It was the first summer of the pandemic, when the darkness seemed unconquerable. He and Wyatt planted the seeds together, and as the saplings grew, so did Wyatt, who could soon toddle out on his own to pinch leaves of basil for pesto. On one song, Campbell pulls shards of glass from the garden so Wyatt doesn’t cut his feet, and elsewhere on the record recalls his own grandmother shielding him as a child from a beehive he’d stepped on in their tomato patch. It was an interrogation of safety that transcends parenting: “Where did I feel protected, and where did I fail to protect people?” Campbell explained.

On a hot day in early June, I got a text from Campbell, who was returning from Slam Dunk Festival in the UK. “Finished 10:04 and then bought the in-flight WiFi to tell you I loved it,” the message read. I’d given him Ben Lerner’s novel under Nardwuarian pretenses, but really I found the resonances undeniable: an artist reckoning with his paternal anxieties in the face of impending apocalypse. Early on, the narrator imagines his future child asking the dreaded question that underlies much of The Hum Goes On Forever: Why reproduce if you believe the world is ending? Lerner’s narrator, paralleling Campbell’s own resolutions, replies: “Because the world is always ending for each of us, and if one begins to withdraw from the possibilities of experience, then no one would take any of the risks involved with love.”

For a long time, with the aid of SSRIs, Campbell’s depression quieted. But like clicking off the white noise machine in Wyatt’s bedroom, its silencing was precisely what amplified its return. “The low hum of sadness will never leave me,” he said. “What matters is the understanding that no matter how loud it is, my kids will need me. How do you take care of another person when you don’t want to take care of yourself?” An inquiry familiar for a frontman who has to perform night after night, in basements or arenas, despite strained muscles or the private agonies of self-doubt, to inspire impossible hope in everyone who looks to him for it. His answer comes at the very end of the record: “You put the work in, you plant a garden, you try to stay afloat. You just try,” he told me, quoting “You’re the Reason I Don’t Want the World to End,” his blue eyes heavy but unwavering. “You have to try.”

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Kay Adams