In between producing songs for Taylor Swift, Grimes and most recently Lorde – “Green Light” and “Liability,” Jack Antonoff has found the time to make another Bleachers record – and “Don’t Take The Money” is our first taste of album #2, titled Everybody Lost Somebody.
“Hi. Today I’m releasing the first song from an album that has taken every piece of me to make,” Jack wrote on his lengthy Instagram post. “There are endless things I’m dying to tell you about the past two years of making this album – some incredible and filled with joy, some deeply painful. But I’ll wait on that because today is just about this introduction. ‘Don’t Take The Money‘ is the front door to this house. It’s a big strange house but this is how I believe it should be entered.”
For “Don’t Take The Money,” Jack teamed up again with Lorde to help him write the punchy indie-pop/rock love anthem, inspired by Jack‘s longtime partner Lena Dunham. “Will we fight, stay up late?/ In my dreams I’m to blame/ Different sides of the bed/ Roll your eyes, shave my head/ Now we’re stuck in the storm,” Jack sings with a sense of fire and grit, on-top of hard-drivng ’80’s-influced synth pulse. “We were born to ignore/ And all I got is a chance to just sit (I’m in love and you’ve got me, runaway).”
Then comes in the chant-y chorus, which is an instant earworm: Like most of Jack‘s productions it’s sort of hopeful, angsty and massive-sounding all at once. You can almost picture him running towards the beaming light, or in this case, Lena Dunham‘s arms: “You steal the air out of my lungs, you make me feel it/ I pray for everything we lost, buy back the secrets/ Your hand forever’s all I want/ Don’t take the money/ Don’t take the money.“
I’m actually totally in love with this. The Killers come to mind at times, especially during the bridge – “When you’re looking at your shadow/ Standing on the edge of yourself/ Praying on the darkness” – but it’s just packed full of endless melodies and anthemic vibes all around. It’s a moment!
“‘Don’t Take The Money‘ is something I say in my head a lot. It’s not about actual money. It’s about following a light,” Jack continued on his Instagram post. “A gut feeling. Not following a deep gut feeling destroys your art and the people around you. So I say it in my head constantly. Sometimes about something very specific relating to music, sometimes about a bigger question about marriage or depression :). Point is, it’s become my phrase to stay on track. Specifically in ‘Don’t Take The Money‘ I’m taking about my relationship. Verses go through the past, pre is an explosive fight and the chorus is that moment when you hit rock bottom and everything is clear. You know that feeling? When you’ve tried your best to destroy yourself and someone else but it’s too strong to be destroyed? When you’ve tried to fling you a your partner out of an emotional window but you keep landing in heaven? That’s when it’s all clear. As much as I say don’t take the money in my head, I also can beg it of the people I love. That’s what I’m doing in that chorus. Beyond the lyrics, so much of everything I’m working on is meant to have an intense push and pull between euphoria and sadness. ‘Don’t Take The Money‘ is the front door because it hold both of those feelings so specifically. that is the core of Bleachers.”