Wild Powwers Capture the Banality of Depression With "Decades" (KEXP Premiere)

KEXP Premiere
Jasmine Albertson

It’s frustrating when the media portrays depression as this romantically glamorous “blip.” Tears flecking the clear-skinned and perfectly symmetrical faces of Hollywood actresses that go on week-long vodka-fueled benders where they make outrageously dangerous life choices before getting their shit together (usually via a romantic relationship). The truth is, depression is mostly just incredibly fucking boring.

That feeling of banality within depression is what Seattle’s Wild Powwers have encapsulated on their latest single, “Decades.” The typically ferocious trio have softened up their grunge-inspired sound for the third single off their forthcoming record, What You Wanted. While drummer Lupe Flores keeps the song moving with a quick-paced, driving beat, Lara Hilgemann’s vocals are toned down significantly, with her signature growl only making a short appearance about ¾ of the way through the song and the majority of the song led by a gentle croon of empathetic lyrics.

“Is that what you wanted to hear /Lying facedown on your couch /Trying to pick up your feet /But you just can’t get out,” lilts Hilgemann on the opening verse. She goes on to convey the vast, seemingly never-ending emptiness of depression with, “Ain’t it so strange /How you always feel that way /Feelin half-deranged /Knowing you’re never gonna change.” Hilgemann had this to say about the song:

"'Decades' is about a well-known, and deep struggle with depression. Depression that hooks into you and straps you down, and holds you hostage. The kind of depression that makes you feel like no matter what you do, the days never change. Every time you get out of bed it takes longer, and your legs feel heavier. It’s maddening. You tell yourself “this too shall pass, things get better” and then a small voice tells you “and then that too passes and you’ll come right back to how you feel now”. It’s an Ouroboros. But is this what you want? Is this what you want to feel everyday? Does it get to win? Can you seek the help you need? The hardest thing to accept is that you are worth the help you need, and it’s ok to ask for it."


The song comes to us via a video by Ron Harrell which does very well in depicting the completely boring and not at all glamorous aspects of depression. The lost hours spent laying in bed staring at the ceiling. Late night walks in the hopes that the fresh air might make you feel better and also to feel like you did *something* that day. The piling up of cigarettes because giving a shit about your physical health feels impossible when you can’t take care of your mental health. So. Much. Crying. Here’s what Harrell had to say about the clip:

"I’ve been close to Wild Powwers for awhile now. I had the pleasure of hearing most of this material as and when it was made or recorded. I have only spoken specifically about this song a few times with the band, but, at this point, I have a somewhat deep connection with it.
From my best estimates, the song really touches on the drabness of depression. I really wanted to help convey the frustration with the stagnation that came from my personal experience with living life with varying degrees of depression.
As we had finished our preliminary filming for the video the world as we know it was coming to a halt. That meant many different things for different people. The shutdown had forced me to confront some issues in my own life and finally seek some help. Through that I was able to really slowly have clarity about the piece. Filming and editing it was an extremely painful look in the mirror, and for that reason it took a lot for me to finish. But I’m proud of it.
Life is difficult. Life is beautiful."


What You Wanted out April 23rd via Nadine Records and features all-star locals Sam Bell (R.E.M., Minus the Bear, Weezer, Taylor Swift) on production and Ed Brooks (Pearl Jam, Death Cab For Cutie, R.E.M.) helming mastering. Watch the video for “Decades” below.



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