The Growlers dive into the churning whirlpool of social media on ‘Social Man’

Brooks Neilsen doesn’t have time for all this social media shit. “I think it’s healthy if I just stay away from it,” the ultra-laid-back Growlers frontman told us last year. “Whenever I see people scrolling through their phones, I get these glimpses of viral shit, or of people trying to make their lives look glamorous. I guess it was never attractive to me.”

On their new single Social Man (a cut from their latest album Natural Affair), The Growlers take aim at this bizarre technological purgatory we’ve all found ourselves in. It’s a subject a few bands have attempted to tackle over the past number of years, though while other acts like to look down their noses at tech-addicts, Neilsen and the gang are merely highlighting the absurdity of it all.

Ahead of their Australian return next January, wrap your ears around Social Man; the latest single from The Growlers’ new album Natural Affair.

“Playing tag and acting cool / Lonely fools keep changing the rules,” Neilsen croons. For someone completely disconnected from social media, it must seem pretty wild how some group of geeks on the internet can control what’s cool or what’s moral. But, of course, Brooks Nielsen doesn’t really care.

This is the frontman of a band whose every career move has been decided without concern for public opinion. They’re doing whatever they feel like doing. They don’t give a shit what Pitchfork thinks. The Growlers’ music—and this new single, in particular—feels like an oasis outside of the social media squall. We’re all just lucky they’ve invited us to sit on their shores.

Ever since 2015’s Chinese Fountain, the Californian band have been refining their new disco-infused garage-surf sound, though on Natural Affair (their first major full-length release under their own label Beach Goth Records), they’ve landed on a sound that carries the careless charm of their early records, while incorporating slicker, groovier production.

Social Man, the record’s standout track, slinks through wobbly synth lines and addictive vocal hooks to push across Neilsen’s thoughts on social media. With a groove that will seep deep into your bones, the track is irresistibly funky.

If you want to catch The Growlers performing the track live (or maybe not… they’re known for changing up their set-lists every night), you can catch them at any of the following dates:

Saturday 4 January – Kingscliff Beach Hotel, Kingscliff NSW
Sunday 5 January – CBD Live Southport, Gold Coast QLD
Monday 6 January – The Tivoli, Brisbane QLD
Wednesday 8 January – Sawtell RSL, Sawtell NSW
Thursday 9 January – 48 Watt St, Newcastle NSW
Friday 10 January – Wollongong Uni, Wollongong NSW
Saturday 11 January – Park House, Mona Vale NSW
Sunday 12 January – Enmore Theatre, Sydney NSW
Tuesday 14 January – Westernport Hotel, San Remo VIC
Wednesday 15 January – Pier Bandroom, Frankston VIC
Thursday 16 January – The Croxton, Melbourne VIC
Friday 17 January – Torquay Hotel, Torquay VIC
Sunday 19 January – Powerstation – Auckland, NZ
Monday 20 January – Powerstation (AA)- Auckland, NZ

More info here.