Pearl Jam – Dance Of The Clairvoyants | Lyrics Review and Song Meaning
The American Rock band Pearl Jam makes a return to music in 2020, announcing a brand new album ‘Gigaton,’ almost after 6 years. The lead single off the album, titled “Dance Of The Clairvoyants,” is Pearl Jam’s first track since their 2018 release “Can’t Deny Me.” Let us go into the details of the song and its lyrics meaning.
‘Gigaton’ is Pearl Jam’s eleventh studio album, and expected to release in March 2020. The sound of Pearl Jam, poised through this single, may not be the usual rhythm for the fans. “Making this record was a long journey, It was emotionally dark and confusing at times, but also an exciting and experimental road map to musical redemption,” says member Mike McCready in an interview with DeanBluddell.
In the same interview, Jeff Ament, the bassist of Pearl Jam, spoke about the making of this new song; “Dance’ was a perfect storm of experimentation and real collaboration, mixing up the instrumentation and building a great song, and Ed writing some of my favourite words yet, around Matt’s killer drum pattern.”
The word ‘Clairvoyance’ stands to mean “the ability to gain information about an object, person, location, or physical event through extrasensory perception” as per Wikipedia. In the context of the song, the lyrics could be talking about the perils of the modern generation in a lost society; “Clairvoyants in a trance.”
Listen to “Dance Of The Clairvoyants” by Pearl Jam
Pushing through 55th birth year, lead vocalist, Eddie Vedder, still manages to fathom immense vocal power in this high-powered ballad.
It is not an easy task to dissect the quirks of modern society. It is a fickle thing and subjects to change forever. But we do see a lot more ‘cracks’ in the society than before. We witness these ‘cracks’ in the form of public shootings, ever-increasing suicide rates, higher than ever rates in depression, anxiety and stress. The whole world is connected to each other in a matter of seconds. Yet, people have never been so far and alone in the history of humanity.
There is so much confusion in this world. The new generation is not even sure of one’s gender which they are born with. They are not sure about what to do with their lives. They are not even sure what love and affection are. Everything is governed by technology. Love is calculated through algorithms and sex appeal. This is not the way humans were made to operate. Somewhere something broke in the system and we are too far gone now.
Topics that were never discussed and argued before are open for critical evaluation now. Religion has become a subject of question and doubt. Gender and sexual orientation are being questioned now. Emotions are mere stickers on the phone.
This mechanical lifestyle has made humans rot in a rut. We get tired of things easily now because everything is so predictable. Endless statistics subconsciously make us decide what we have for dinner, where is our next travel destination, who is our partner for the night, and what emotions to wear in each circumstance. Human interaction is nothing but a formality and an action that carries no value anymore.
Pearl Jam’s idea of resolving this global issue is through the community itself. Humankind will need to work together because “Not one man / Can be greater than the sum.” But they are positive that this change is possible. People need to help each other to stand up on their own two feet rather than kicking them down. This ‘dance of the Clairvoyants’ needs to stop and for that to happen everyone has to stop dancing.
Pearl Jam mocks the ‘Clairvoyants’ of this world because they are “out of this world.” The band is literally saying that this group of people are not rooted on this Earth. They could be plugged into the Internet and floating all over the galaxy, while their unconscious bodies walk the Earth.
‘Dance’ is usually considered something to be relaxing, happy and letting go of worries. However, ‘life’ is barely a ‘dance.’ So, when Pearl Jam says the new generation wants to ‘dance,’ they mean that the new generation is carefree. Girls want to dance and boys want to grow up and do adult things. This is not a dance that is going to end well for the people as well as the planet.
The word “Clairvoyants,” mean people with extrasensory perception. This means ‘Clairvoyants’ have a sixth sense, beyond the normal five a normal human being possesses. This sixth sense could be the Internet for all that matters. But what good is it to have a sixth sense and be in a trance state? No good at all. This is the state of people in the world today and it needs fixing.
What do you think “Dance Of The Clairvoyants” by Pearl Jam means? Let us hear your thoughts on the song and its lyrics in the comments below.
Check out the full lyrics and further song meaning on Genius.