F***** Up works in world-building. Across its expansive discography, from the rock opera David Comes to Life, to the long-running Chinese Zodiac 12" series, to companion pieces like David's Town or the slowed version of Glass Boys, the myth-making Toronto band has constructed a space where narratives are set against sounds that transmute in subsequent songs, exploring both theme and genre.
The narrative of Dose Your Dreams, the band's fifth studio album and its first full-length since 2014, is a return to David, a recurring titular hero in F***** Up's work, who now finds himself pushing paper in a desk job. "Normal People," set within the band's world, still manages to be a universal snapshot of modern malaise. "My tie was blue and my shirt was white / So why can't I figure out / How to feel alright?" Damian Abraham asks in his signature howl.
In the video directed by Mike Haliechuk, the absurd sits comfortably beside the ordinary, the day-to-day of supermarkets and drab offices spaces accented with costumed characters of questionable intent. With its call-and-response and richly melodic riffs, "Normal People" articulates the emptiness of insignificance with a stirring sound.
Dose Your Dreams comes out Oct. 5 via Merge Records / Arts & Crafts.