NPR logo Power-Pop Reveals Its Beating Heart

Power-Pop Reveals Its Beating Heart

It Isn't Easy to Live That Well

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Friday's Song

  • Song: "It Isn't Easy To Live That Well"
  • Artist: Headlights
  • CD: The Enemies EP
  • Genre: Power-Pop

Headlights, finding sadness in happiness and vice versa. Elise McAuley hide caption

toggle caption Elise McAuley

A great power-pop song offers innumerable rewards: an eternally memorable melody, an adrenaline rush, a way to make a spring day sing. Still, as much as guitars and synthesizers can capture and even cultivate a hormonal rush, beneath the best power-pop beats a sad, bleeding heart.

Recalling the work of Stars, another band that slathers chiming hooks atop deeply conflicted odes to relationships gone sour, Headlights' "It Isn't Easy To Live That Well" conjures minor-key melancholy on its path to pop bliss. Breezy on the surface, the song finds swooning synths, shimmering guitar lines, a twinkling glockenspiel, and an impeccably placed handclap coexisting with Erin Fein's cooing examination of self-delusion: "Is there any use, to tell myself the truth?"

Fein may come around to the side of getting real — "I don't have a reason to lie, do I?" — but it's an epiphany that feels like resignation, even amid so much joyful noise.

Listen to yesterday's "Song of the Day."

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The Enemies

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Album
The Enemies
Artist
Headlights
Released
2005

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Enemies EP

Purchase Music

Buy Featured Music

Album
Enemies EP
Artist
Headlights
Label
Polyvinyl
Released
2005

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

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