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Song Stories

“Float On”

Modest Mouse | 2004

After the cosmic dread of Modest Mouse's 2000 full-length The Moon and Antarctica, their funk-fueled “Float On” sounded like summer vacation. With his solar system reveries behind him, Isaac Brock turned to a new metaphor for the optimistic track. “There is something genuinely freeing to me about the ocean,” the Modest Mouse frontman said. “There are no borders — it’s f---ing beautiful. I’m not going to get to do space travel, so what’s under the water is quite a bit more interesting to me.” Audiences soaked up the good vibes: “Float On” helped make Good News for People Who Love Bad News the band’s first platinum album.

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Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

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