Jack Antonoff and his band Bleachers have teamed up with the Boss himself on new track, “chinatown.” Dropped this past Monday, ‘chinatown’ comes out alongside another new Bleachers track, "45."
While the success and significance of these artists alone speak volumes, putting two New Jersey natives together means a lot and it’s not entirely by coincidence.
In a press release ahead of the drop, Antonoff shares that "chinatown" is about being pulled back to where you’re from and coping with the flurry of emotions that come with it. Antonoff, who hosts an annual charity concert in Asbury Park at the infamous Stone Pony — pre-COVID, of course — has always been proud of the Garden State. It’s evident in his music and his efforts.
Antonoff has worked with artists like Taylor Swift, Lorde, FKA Twigs and The Chicks. His songwriting credits span a long list and one that few in pop can currently top. As someone from New Jersey, I can say that he might be in my top five favorite New Jerseyans ever.
Antonoff also shared in the press release that Springsteen has taught him the value New Jersey can have in his own voice and music. In a way, his new collaboration can offer insight into how New Jersey artists have continued to perfect and grow over the years.
For older generations, even young, Bruce Springsteen is the New Jersey icon. It’s hard to speak to someone on the Shore who hasn’t been personally moved by the Boss. His music has expanded over decades and still gets played loudly and proudly in New Jersey. He also resides there now and I can attest to this. Last winter, a friend of mine ran into him in Urban Outfitters and had a picture to prove it.
That being said, Bruce Springsteen is a big deal outside of state borders, too. His music has won an array of awards, including 20 Grammys, two Golden Globes, an Academy Award and a Tony for his very own “Springsteen on Broadway,” which showcased the Boss himself on stage night after night, playing music and occasionally was joined by his wife, Patti Scaifla, who joined the E-Street Band in 1984.
Antonoff might just be on his way to such recognition and accolades. The two together on this song showcase New Jersey’s best, both young and old.
The songs “chinatown” and “45” are the first released ahead of Bleachers' next album, which is slated to drop in 2021.