It finally happened.
The new song, a synthy slow burner called “Chinatown,” was released Monday by Antonoff’s bombastic electro-pop band Bleachers. It features the Boss both on backing vocals and in the Jersey-laden music video, which includes footage of the Turnpike and Parkway — both of which Antonoff, 36, has mentioned in lyrics before. The New Milford native also wears a terrific “Welcome to New Jersey. Now, go home” t-shirt at the video’s outset.
But the lasting image is of Antonoff and Springsteen hanging, around an old cream-colored Cadillac — very familiar iconography for fans of ’80s Bruce, particularly the “Tunnel of Love” era.
It’s fitting as Antonoff, who has produced and co-written hit songs for pop icons Taylor Swift, Lorde, Pink, Lana Del Rey and more, told NJ Advance Media last year: “I’m going to make Taylor Swift records that sound like ‘Tunnel of Love.’”
Well, looks like the Jersey boy got there, only this time for his own purposes.
“(The song) starts in NYC and travels to New Jersey,” Antonoff says of “Chinatown,” in a statement. "That pull back to the place I am from mixed with terror of falling in love again. ... As for Bruce, 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.”
Though Antonoff, who was named “artist of the decade” by NJ Advance Media last year, will likely steal more headlines soon as Swift’s lauded LP “Folklore,” which he co-wrote and co-produced, is a favorite for an Album of the Year nomination at the 2021 Grammy Awards. Nominations are to be announced Nov. 24.
Springsteen is also riding high off the critical acclaim of his sparkling new album “Letter to You,” released Oct. 23. We called it a "masterful rock memoir, his best in many years. Read the full review here.