Welcome to The Singles Bar, a review series focused on new single and song releases.
I was seven in 1993. I had a rat tail and wanted to be a veterinarian when I grew up. Technology as we know it now was a foreign concept. No one in my dusty, sleepy West Virginia town had a computer. Forget cell phones. That subtle Zack Morris-approved brick device? That was something of Hollywood, distant and fantastical. Social media was actually being social face-to-face, scavenging daily for honest human interactions and trying to hop off the merry go ’round even for a second. We buy things to overload our senses, to hide behind so we don’t have to look at how lonesome our existence really is.
24 years later, and we’ve completely lost it. Smart phones have utterly distorted our perceptions of the world, further isolating us from ourselves, reality and those we love. Pop firebrand Youngr yearns for the old, simpler days with his song “’93,” a hefty club jam “about trying to remember how everyday life was before social media took over,” as he explains it. Anchored with jaunty electric guitar and a disco-doused framework, the song, embedded in his fiery and groovy This is Not an Album release (out now), rips off a list of trigger words. “Back then, they didn’t tweet, they’d read the papers / Talk to friends right to their faces / Didn’t Snapchat, they just chit chat / Yeah, let’s have a think about that,” he urges the listener, disclosing his unsettled feelings about humanity’s collapse.
On the hook, he warns, “One day, we’ll wake up and smell the coffee / It don’t feel right / But it’s too late to try and stop it,” as if we are all trapped inside a Black Mirror episode, lurching away from unstable world leaders and our own cravings for more, more, more. He later professes, “No, it don’t feel right / Getting stressed out all for nothing / No, not me / Call me stupid, too laid back / Wanna live it like ’93…”
It’ll never be 1993 again, and we might be forever chained to getting likes and follows ⎯⎯ but change begins with us. “It feels like we’re all way too far in to stop the power of social media. It totally dictates our life now. I wish there was a way of not relying on it so much,” Youngr acknowledges the strain of breaking free. But we can, and we must.