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“Nothing Feels Natural” could be the motto of our times, so it makes sense that the Washington D.C. band Priests picked it to title their debut record. Following the lead of previous singles “JJ” and “Pink White House,” Priests’ latest mixes hard questions on human decency and political nihilism into details of the band’s personal lives. The track was penned during a time of distress, when stagnancy and depression subsumed singer Katie Alice Greer. Priests, she points out, has never been a side job, so when things are not working out, her “entire life feels like it’s not working.”
“Nothing Feels Natural” begins with an ominous surf-rock shimmer, but rather than shifting into a frenzied tirade, Greer surprises us by maintaining the subdued melody, allowing for more melancholic singing. Typically, Greer’s voice ricochets from verse to verse, spitting out her words with anger, rocketing others into the sky. But here, her voice is lower-toned, and mournful, as she ponders if she will ever change. She conflates this riddle with a grim acknowledgment that our country has made a habit of curtailing freedoms and favoring some lives over others. In the penultimate verse, when Greer sings, “This is when I’d give a god a name/But to people in sanctuaries all I can say is/You will not be saved,” she offers no real resolution, but shows that we all must find our own strange reality.Share