Though first conceived three years, and intended for an album from May 2016, Little Scream’s “People” is a song perfectly fit for the “fierce urgency of of now.” It’s a quietly seething, mid-tempo rocker that can’t help but wonder just how the hell did we get to this present moment in history? When did such dramatic cleaving of demographic groups occur? Was it always there? Have we allowed ourselves to fragment so because we’re all in our own bubbles? Maybe because we all pass the buck, like the Levites and priests of the “Parable of the Good Samaritan” we assume that someone else will clean up the mess that’s been made.
Laurel Sprengelmeyer, the indie group’s lead singer, howls over the locked-in groove about the last of these possibilities: “See the deer by the side of the road? Its broken spindly legs… Someone else was driving. This is the burden of our age.” The real, abiding burden isn’t that Donald Trump’s been elected or that Paul Ryan’s been imbued with more power or that Clinton lost or any of that. It’s something Sprengelmeyer indirectly addresses in an accompanying note to the new single: We’re forever repeating history. We meet the new boss and assume they’re different in some way. “What’s wrong with us people?” Sprengelmeyer pointedly asks. It’s that our memories only stretch back to yesterday and our worldviews can’t go farther than our front porch.