Advertise with The Big Takeover
The Big Takeover Issue #94
MORE News >>
Subscribe to The Big Takeover


Shop our Big Takeover store for back issues, t-shirts & CDs

Follow us on Instagram

Follow The Big Takeover

American Sigh - "Virtue Signal"

17 May 2024

Photo by Theo Matz

On the new American Sigh record Virtue Signal, songwriter Theo Matz wraps meditations on a world in flux in a beguiling blend of up-tempo indie folk, second-wave emo guitar squall, and articulate, chiming melody. Built on a foundation of granite-solid songwriting, Virtue Signal, despite grappling with rather heavy subject matter, is fundamentally just a darn great record.

American Sigh · Virtue Signal

While the debut American Sigh LP Honor System was written collaboratively with his bandmates, Virtue Signal was born in isolation. “All the songs on the first record were arranged and recorded in a room together as a four-piece band. I think that setup naturally makes for a more rock sound because there’s four people that want to take up space. Virtue Signal was mostly written at my apartment in Florida during the pandemic” explains Matz.

Thematically, despite it’s relatively heavy subject matter Virtue Signal is an optimistic record. “This is the most political record I’ve made” says Matz. “I got really demoralized in 2020 watching Bernie lose the nomination, the US government’s awful response to COVID-19, the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent violent repression of the black liberation movement… I think a lot of people felt that way. But that led me to learn a lot. I was radicalized, and I was looking for answers. A lot of the songs on the album were written that year.”

It was through that deep dive into the contemporary sociopolitical reality that Matz, despite it all, found optimism. While we might have felt trapped in isolation during the pandemic, the power really is with the people. “Even though the situation feels hopeless, we the people have the power to move past it. There is a better future if we build it and overturn our current system to make a new one that serves everyone. We aren’t free until we are ALL free. When we see the police kill an unarmed black man or displace an unhoused person, or the military bomb a hospital, or a worker being exploited, or an ocean covered in an oil spill, it’s up to us to build the movement to change it. Our path to true freedom is linked.”


More in news