“Can I Go On” combines existential despair and rage over the current era in its seething guitar riffs and lyrics: “Sell our rage, buy and trade, but we still cry for free every day…… maybe I’m not sure I wanna go on at all.” From the opening line, “Everyone is tired/And everyone is wired/To machines,” it’s clear that Carrie Brownstein, who once again leads vocals on their fourth single in a row, means to address the technological dread brought on by the contemporary news cycle.
“In this song, a woman’s desire is used against her, so she turns it into a sinister infectiousness,” Brownstein said in a statement. “The narrator finds herself on the brink of self-annihilation, grappling with the paradox of an internal darkness at odds with the pressure to outwardly perform modes of joy, relatability, and likability.”
“Can I Go On” follows the release of prior singles “Hurry On Home,” “The Future Is Here” and “The Center Won’t Hold.” Sleater-Kinney will hit the road this fall for a North American tour in support of the album. Recently, Brownstein and vocalist/guitarist Corin Tucker sat down with the New York Times to discuss recording The Center Won’t Hold as well as the departure of longtime Sleater-Kinney drummer, Janet Weiss.