Just a few months ago, Metric dropped Formentera, their eighth studio album. While the indie-rock quartet has never shied away from embracing their artsy, bold intuitions, Formentera begins with one of Metric’s ballsiest moves: “Doomscroller,” the 10-minute, operatic opener that covers topics like QAnon and the titular act of doomscrolling.
It’s a risky move, but for a band like Metric, who has enough credibility and fan loyalty to back up taking such a chance, it’s a necessary move of artistic honesty. Not to mention that, upon release, “Doomscroller” instantly became one of the band’s most standout tracks – which surely helps manage the risk as well.
“The whole premise is, we’re gonna do things that we really mean and make sense to us irregardless of genre or conventional business practices,” Metric frontwoman Emily Haines tells Consequence during our Zoom interview. “It’s the best song we’ve ever written. Like, throw it at the top; that was the logic.”
As Haines explains the essence of the song from her hotel room during a break on the Canadian leg of the “Doomscroller Tour” (grab tickets here), she stresses how badly she — and Metric’s audience, for that matter — needed “Doomscroller.” From its political themes to its very structure, the song acts as a summation of the rage, fear, and hopelessness of the last few years. The track’s dark world of synths and repetitive club breaks act as a sonic equivalent to modern life’s seemingly endless cycle of bad news.
Yet, what’s most profound about what Haines and Metric have accomplished is that they didn’t stop there. After six minutes of growing intensity, the song transitions into a solitary piano before ultimately morphing into an uplifting, guitar-driven anthem for its last leg. It’s a sign that Metric are right here with the rest of us, feeling beaten down and tired, but also ready to help us find the light at the end of the tunnel. They’re not content to merely wallow in the doomscroll — they’re going to help us escape its clutches.
“We were like, this is what we need,” Haines explains. “We’re creating this sonic oasis place. We gotta let go; I can’t doomscroll this hard. My neck is like a rock. Like, the anxiety is going to actually destroy my body. We’re going to write a song that’s going to get us out of this.”