Album provides reassurance to aspiring artists



Destroyer’s “Streethawk: A Seduction” is an indie-rock album about the romantic coming-of-age struggle in the music industry.

Audrey Matzke, Reporter

CW: This story mentions suicide. 

I first listened to Destroyer’s “Streethawk: a Seduction” (2002) during the drearier half of a COVID-sunk summer: August 2020, when just about every teenager in America was missing out on something. Fittingly, it’s an indie-rock coming-of-age tale — a promise to restless young artists (like me) that, even if they never end up making it big, their struggle to book gigs and secure publishing deals will always be a little bit romantic.  

I’m not sure if that’s how I’m supposed to feel about it — or if that’s how Dan Bejar, the lyricist and musical auteur behind the 20-year-old Vancouver act, intended it to come across — but that’s what it meant to me at the time, and the tenor of the album reassures me that’s justification enough. “Farrar, Strauss and Giroux,” the record’s third-to-last track, tells the story of a suicidal young novelist banking their life’s worth on a forthcoming novel’s sucess; the speaker muses: No man has ever hung / from the rafters of a second home.

At times, the first act rings sardonic, brimming with Generation X snark and Bejar’s charming petulance — but as the album winds down, so too does its sarcasm, giving way to something modestly personal. “Streethawk” isn’t commentary; it doesn’t decry the art world’s cutthroat nature, and it doesn’t chide emerging artists for giving into its time-honored demands. Our real lives should be better, but when they aren’t, it’s OK to get lost in the music.