Today’s musical mental health break is the official video for “Reflektor,” this thanks to fellow saint and sinner Paul (a.k.a. “hubby”).
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, lead singer Win Butler shared that the nineteenth century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard was actually the inspiration for the song; and, if you listen closely to the lyrics of “Reflektor,” you’ll hear themes of alienation, sin and freedom: “We’re so connected but are we even friends?”… “If this is heaven I need something more”… “I want to break free, but will it break me?”… “I’ll see you on the other side.”
Here is Butler:
I studied the Bible and philosophy in college and I think in a certain sense that’s the kind of stuff that still makes my brain work. There’s an essay by Kierkegaard called The Present Age that I was reading a lot that’s about the reflective age. This is like in , and it sounds like he’s talking about modern times. He’s talking about the press and alienation, and you kind of read it and you’re like, “Dude, you have no idea how insane it’s gonna get.” [Laughs.]
What about Kierkegaard’s essay did you find relevant?
It reads like it was written here, basically. He basically compares the reflective age to a passionate age. Like, if there was a piece of gold out on thin ice, in a passionate age, if someone went to try and get the gold, everyone would cheer them on and be like, “Go for it! Yeah you can do it!” And in a reflective age, if someone tried to walk out on the thin ice, everyone would criticize them and say, “What an idiot! I can’t believe you’re going out on the ice to try and risk something.” So it would kind of paralyze you to even act basically, and it just kind of resonated with me — wanting to try and make something in the world instead of just talking about things.