I’d tell you all about Fates Worse Than Death, the new album from Short Fictions, but Pitchfork got there first. The band is one of a few Pittsburgh acts that have recently received positive reviews from the national music tastemaker and although he’s grateful, lead singer Sam Treber seems to be taking the attention in stride.
His reaction to the write-up isn’t all that surprising to anyone familiar with the down-to-earth culture of the Steel City. Treber’s home city is a central topic on the new album. He says the record is “mostly about climate change. And also a lot about gentrification in Pittsburgh. And then there's some just like lighthearted songs.”
One of those lighthearted songs is “Really Like You,” whose sound hearkens back to the indie pop and emo sounds of the new millennium. Treber doesn’t reject the “emo” label but adds that Short Fictions’ sound encompasses everything from pop to horns and glockenspiel to math rock. “A little bit of everything,” he laughs.
As for the more serious subject matter on the record, Treber clearly wants to speak out about his city. But thankfully, he’s also not going anywhere. “I’m not mad at Pittsburgh,” he says. “I love Pittsburgh. I’m just disappointed in the powers that be, I guess. Pittsburgh, I love it. I’m never leaving.”