On Friday, the Oakland-based dance-garage band Tell Me Tell Me premiered their new song “Before.” Full of vitality and honesty, the song elicits the type of nostalgia that stops you in your tracks on a busy street or breaks conversation with a group of friends: Where were they before? / What did we do before? / Where did we go before? / How did we know before?
With an urgency and verve, the song keeps the listener alert and concentrating on the next clue to these lingering questions, perhaps to answers that could never be had. There’s a nostalgia as well, but it’s not derivative: It takes what was cherished and adds a new spice to it. The elegant guitar riffs and chorus melody dares you to forget it, with demanding vocals. “Before” conveys this relatable feeling that’s especially relevant in current times.