Civilian traffics in the kind of indie rock that you can easily see filling up areas. It’s huge, hooky and still interesting enough to actually merit deeper listening – especially their newest track that follows a dark, yet all too real story. The track “Michael” is beautiful on it’s face, with a lovely melody that slowly twists to follow the melancholically gritty story the band is telling. Of the track band leader Ryan Alexander says:
“I met a homeless guy in Fort Lauderdale where I used to live. The night I met him he was really beat up. He told me that he was a male prostitute and that he had just gotten himself into trouble. He had started to fall for one of his clients and one night when they were together Michael was drugged by the man he was growing to love. He was raped and left in his hotel room. He told me that his pimp knew where to find him and dragged him into the car. They drove through downtown Fort Lauderdale telling him how much money he lost because Michael didn’t make him any money that night. He was thrown out the open sliding door of a moving minivan by the park where I met him.
Within the next few days he was standing on the corner in a dress and high heels trying to get work- to pay his pimp what he now owed. He looked busted up and he used make-up to cover up the bruises and cuts. He told me about how that night, while he was standing on the corner he was surrounded by a group of drunk guys who surrounded him and bullied him. The song is about these two types of people: the straight white male who feels he can do whatever he wants, and the marginalized gay male left to fight for himself in a world that shows very little compassion for those it does not understand.”
Check out the track above and be sure to pre-order the extremely wonderfully titled new album You Wouldn’t Believe What Privilege Costs now.