There’s nothing more emblematic of a return to your New Jersey roots than invoking Bruce Springsteen.
In a statement provided to EW, Antonoff says the song “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… 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. There are pieces in that that are worth carrying forever and pieces worth letting die.”
The song’s visual is reflective of this, with shots of a car cruising the New Jersey turnpike enmeshed with scenes of Antonoff running through a suburban street wearing a “Welcome to New Jersey now, go home” t-shirt, him in alone in a room in Springsteen cosplay, and finally him sitting with Springsteen himself on the back of a convertible.
On working with Springsteen, the Bleachers frontman says, “It's the honor of a lifetime to be joined by him. 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."
Bleachers also released another track today called “45.” Antonoff explains both singles tell the same story through different lenses, “‘Chinatown’ through someone else, ‘45’ through the mirror.”
Watch the music video for “Chinatown” above, and listen to “45” below.