Dan Bejar’s 2022 album LABYRINTHITIS still sounds marvelous and obscure. While I have been suffering from guessing those multi-directional meanings and landing-points in his lyrics since high school, words from LABYRINTHITIS could be the most chaotic in his whole catelog. It sounds kinda more pessimistic and sometimes emotionally wild. For instance, There’s a weird ambient song, Labyrinthitis, where a child imitates bird tweet, oddly warm and tranquil. And just after that, Eat the Wine, Drink the Bread is a strong rhythm, a powerful stupidhead rock.

As each song from this album features different craziness, June, the centerpiece of this record(I think), stands peculiar, sounding like a playful & mad derison on high society with shaking disco beat and liveness riff. It’s also rare that there’s a long spoken-word outro in a Destroyer song(too mature that it’s like this should have happened earlier) which full of meteor-like imagery and flows over. The first listening could easily puzzle us and lead us to wonder what’s the “true” meanings of “A scrapyard angel/Wings of brass/Ash/a river called trash”? well, I believe those verses could be narrative. Once we string them together, we can find the answer. Throught deciphering these sprawling imagery, though I still couldn’t draw a final conclusion, I attemp to guess June is about a stale high society artwork/fashion ceremony or party where Dan Bejar encountered a “cynical romance”.

Let’s re-check the lyrics.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say
Fortune’s wheel’s just for show
In this brutal turning
Nothing changes the slow grind away1
Fancy language dies2
And everyone’s happy to see it go

Everyone’s happy to strike for more pay3
Happy to strike for more pay
Happy to strike

I’d be lying if I didn’t say
Fortune’s wheel’s just for show
In this brutal turning
Nothing changes the cold light of day
Fancy language dies
And everyone’s happy to see it go

A snow angel’s a fucking idiot somebody made4
A fucking idiot someone made in the snow

Then you look up by chance from the disco dance
You’re doing into the light of the moon
It’s June and you’ve improved
Yеs, you are renewеd5
Yes, you are renewed

I think it’s you
I think it’s you
I think it’s you
I think it’s you
I think it’s you
I think it’s you

Oh Aggie6, your beating heart was a carriage made of gold
How the arithmetic of this guitar melts your heart is beyond me
And when I say beyond me, I mean beyond me7
Love ya? I barely know you, it goes to show8
Who really knows what love is?
The branches, the breeze, the roiling seas
None of it seems worth mentioning
Though I’m in the process of figuring it out
Even if it’s elementary
A scrapyard angel, wings of brass
Ash, a river called trash9
And speaking of lifelike, this is what life’s like
You thread the needle, then the needle runs dry10
You thread the needle, then the needle runs dry
“Inward Crackle,” says the fink to himself11
Oh well, I wasn’t taught how to
Go off like a, go off like a, go off like a, go off like a
Go off like a hydrogen bomb12
But I do radiate a certain glow
It flutters and fades, a Ferris wheel on the run from the snow
You have to look at it from all angles
Says the cubist judge from cubist jail13
The sky glows, the heat is unbearable14
Parrot weather
My decision is final, a crazy game
I traded in moonlight for the morning dew
I know dusk when I see one
I know rust when I see it
You come out swinging, but you go down swinging too
You pay good money for a million dollar view
Flipping the pages of Chatelaine15
The rude empiricism of every troubled loser16
Quote, unquote, unquote
A moment alone please
A moment alone please
A moment alone please
With this, with this
With this rhapsody17
With this rhapsody
Vital information from where I’m standing
Low-born Madonna
With her typewriters in the rain
Clacking their misfortunes18, speech, speech
A figure of light’s trapped inside your kimono
Absent friends, where’d you go?
And while we’re on the subject of psychotic passwords
Honing in on nothing
Everywhere Rome19 goes
Everybody wants her
Ah fuck, I feel like a discovery someone once saw
On a clear day20
Dump him21

  1. Lottery could be a great symbol of Capitalism, and it doesn’t mean lucky but sinister, from Shirley Jackson’s short horror novel Lottery 

  2. The opening speech for the ceremony was over and actually nobody cared its content. 

  3. Working class can only strike to get salary commonly raised instead of working itself but its essence is how Capitalism makes people happy to do it 

  4. The ornamentation/centerpiece Dan Bejar saw in the ceremony 

  5. Dancing part of the ceremony and “renewed” is just a void feeling with no significence. “You” is probably Aggie. 

  6. Aggie originate from “Αγνη”, a Greek name, meaning holy and pure. Ancient Greek is one of the main inspiration for modern art. Dan Bejar use it for sarcasm 

  7. Just Dan Bejar being an asshole, denied a girl’s compliment 

  8. It gonna be more rude 

  9. Some barren art imagery Dan Bejar referenced only to embarrass Aggie 

  10. Dan Bejar didn’t appreciate the girl’s courtesy and thought it’s fake and for “political” balance 

  11. Describe himself as a comic vallian so those verses could not be the words that Dan Bejar actually said 

  12. Dan Bejar ran away 

  13. ridicule the cubist work and the way artists teach people to understand it. imagine the classic image of “jail”. really smart! 

  14. maybe the ceremony wasn’t held at night but daytime.The snow angel and moonlight are artificial. 

  15. An English-language Canadian women’s magazine. “Chatelaine” has multi-meanings 

  16. I think this verse is pretty profound. It could mean cheap imitations of feminism/cloths, and could also a irony derision on Dan Bejar himself. 

  17. Dan Bejar madly denigrated almost everything and he found it’s too cynical himself 

  18. I believe it’s a sad description of a striper and the typewriter is her manager, misfortunes is the money that spectators gave her (Madonna is known for her acumen on managing her bussiness). Scene change to a stripe club. 

  19. Rome is similar to Aggie, but Aggie could be a high society girl and Rome is a striper. 

  20. A film’s name, about a middle aged unemployed man 

  21. An insult to the man from On a Clear Day or Dan Bejar himself