Bleachers is teasing their third studio album with two new tracks.
In a statement, Jack Antonoff, 36, said it was "the honor of a lifetime" to be able to collaborate with Springsteen, 71, on a track. "He is the artist who showed me that the sound of the place I am from has value and that there is a spirit here that needs to be taken all over the world," he said.
In both songs, Antonoff reflects on where he comes from and the person that it's shaped him to be. He also touches on how one's background can create perceptions of a person in the eyes of another.
"'chinatown' starts in NYC and travels to new jersey. That pull back to the place I am from mixed with terror of falling in love again. Having to show your cards to someone and the shock when you see them for yourself. Thinking you know yourself and where you are from…. Having to see yourself through somebody who you want to stay…" the artist said.
— Bruce Springsteen (@springsteen) November 16, 2020
"I started to write this song with these ideas ringing in my head. To further understand who you are pushes you to further understand where you are from and what that looks and sounds like," he added. "There are pieces in that that are worth carrying forever and pieces worth letting die. 'chinatown' and '45' are both the story of this — 'chinatown' through someone else, '45' through the mirror."
Speaking to Zane Lowe on Apple Music, Antonoff further explained the idea behind the song and why he chose to write it.
"I've been trying to write this song for a long time. I wrote a lot of this album at the end of something, in the beginning of something else, which is a really dark," he said. "I wanted to focus on all the darkness there, which is that it's very, very terrifying to enter new spaces. You've just put yourself back together and then right away, you just get right back on and go out and try to hurt yourself more or something."
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"It's a funny space to be in, so I wanted to write that. This song really used the idea of New Jersey and New York City as different characters in relationships, leaving one, entering another one, going home, going into the future," the singer added. "It really spoke to me, this idea of bouncing back and forth between the place I'm from and the place that I'm building my life."
The "I Wanna Get Better" singer also touched on his relationship with Springsteen, telling Lowe that the legendary musician and his wife Patti Scialfa "are dear friends and very important people in my life."
"This song just came from that. It came from hanging out, messing around in the studio, just loose," he said of "chinatown."
"I remember I played them an early version of this record and then we were just hanging out and then vocals were happening, then all of a sudden, I'm listening back and I'm like, 'This really works,'" he recalled. "This is a delicate thing. Any time someone exists on your music is a delicate thing. It's extra delicate when it's someone as brilliant as Bruce, because there's a lot of energy coming into the picture."
Antonoff released the second Bleachers album, Gone Now, back in 2017. Since then, he's kept busy producing music for a wide range of artists, including Lana Del Rey, Taylor Swift and The Chicks, according to Pitchfork.
Alongside the two new tracks, the artist shared a music video for "chinatown."
Meanwhile, Springsteen made history earlier this month following the release of his album Letter to You. He became the first artist to ever have a Top 5 album on the Billboard 200 chart in six decades.