Brow Beat

Groove Along With the Existential Despair of LCD Soundsystem’s New Single, “Tonite”

LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy in the music video for “Tonite.”
LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy in the music video for “Tonite.”

Still taken from video.

LCD Soundsystem has released a new single, “Tonite,” off their upcoming album American Dream, along with its accompanying music video. And, as the band has always done, it adds a bit of glitz and glam to life’s grit and grime.

The video has the aesthetic of a late ’70s or early ’80s disco music video (Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” video from 2012 employed a similar theme, albeit in a more upbeat and boisterous way) that fits the vibe of the song well. Throughout the almost six minute-long video, Murphy and his band are standing and/or sitting on a rotating circular stage, with Murphy singing into a tape machine.

The song itself is deeply cynical and dark, as Murphy contemplates aging (“And you’re getting older/ I promise you this, you’re getting older/ But the future’s a nightmare/ And there’s nothing I can do/ There’s nothing anyone can do about this”), the monotony of popular music (“Everybody’s singing the same song/ It goes ‘tonight, tonight, tonight’”), the internet (“You’ve lost your internet and we’ve lost our memories/ We had a paper trail that led to our secrets/ But embarrassing pictures have now all been deleted/ By versions of selves that we thought were the best ones”), and, of course, life being miserable (“And life is finite/ But, shit, it feels like forever”).

The video is fun and beautifully made but perhaps does not quite measure up to the wonderfully quirky madness of the This Is Happening-era videos such as the Spike Jonze-directed “Drunk Girls” video. Regardless, the video oozes that middle-aged unconcerned cool that makes Murphy and co. so great.

“Tonite” is the third single that LCD Soundsystem has released for American Dream. The previous two—the Bowie-sounding anthem “Call the Police” and the slower, moodier title track—were released in early May. American Dream—LCD Soundsystem’s fourth album and first in five years—will be released on Sept. 1.