As homely as it is endearing, “The Human Beings” combines a Fountains-of-Wayne-ish gift for melody with an idiosyncratic sense of presentation. Over an assemblage of woodwinds huffy-puffy-ing in the background, front man Joe Darone offers up what appears to be a pathos-free elegy to the planetary tragedy that is human civilization. But, hey, at least you can sing along—well, part of the way. The verse and the chorus are as pithy and tuneful as can be; the entire lyrical section—verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/verse/chorus—wraps up in 1:40. The song plays out from there as an instrumental at once plucky and ominous, woodwinds interspersed with a muted sort of churning menace. As with the lyrics—“So they blacken the earth and blacken the ground/Now you’re not gonna find one of them around”—the music doesn’t end assuringly. My advice is to enjoy the unbridled melodicism, and find a bit of hope in a human creative urge so relentless as to feel compelled to dress up the apocalypse in such an appealing package.
Billing itself as “an indie rock manifestation,” Suit of Lights is a loose collective fronted by Joe Darone, operating out of New York City. Darone began his musical career as a teenager in the New Jersey punk band The Fiendz in the late ’80s. His Suit of Lights project began life in 2003. “The Human Beings” is a song from Shine On Forever, the third Suit of Lights album, released last month on Visiting Hours Records. You can check the whole thing out on Bandcamp, and buy it there as well. Thanks to Largehearted Boy for the lead.