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Song You Need to Know: screensaver, ‘The Guilt’

The Melbourne post-punk quintet learn to accept that “imperfection is human” on their new single


Kalindy Williams

Two years ago – although it feels much longer – I wrote, for another publication, the following about the debut album from Melbourne band screensaver:

“An anxious and agitated listen… It might be moody, yes, the listener might feel uneasy, certainly, but it’s also eminently danceable, which is key.”

Two years later, screensaver have offered more of the same on their new single, “The Guilt”, and this is most certainly a good thing. Their post-punk style is still jittery and uneasy, but crucially, it still urges one to cut loose on a darkened dancefloor.

“The Guilt” is an acknowledgement of the universal feelings of guilt we all, without fail, succumb to at some point in trying to be everything to everyone all at once; how tiring it is trying to be a wholly perfect person all of the time.

“Existence can be exhausting: relationships to maintain, jobs to get done, people to impress, all the while the world is falling apart around us,” says the band’s vocalist, Krystal Maynard. “Perfect is impossible, imperfection is human. You try your best to be everything to everyone at all times, but failure is inevitable and then the guilt arrives.”

Under screensaver’s spell, the song sounds spirited rather than jaded, an anthem of braced acceptance, an ode to knowing one’s limitations. The accompanying music video, directed by Scott Marrinan with assistance from Wild Rose Pictures, perfectly captures the lyrical awakening onscreen (watch below).

“The Guilt” is the lead single from screensaver’s forthcoming second studio album, Decent Shapes, the follow-up to their 2021 debut Expressions of Interest.

Set for release in October, Decent Shapes is a collection of “musings on modern existence,” with the lyrics “threatening rage as frustrations rise.” Prime post-punk territory, then.

screensaver’s “The Guilt” is out now. Decent Shapes is out Friday, October 20th via Poison City Records (AU)/Upset The Rhythm (UK/EU) (pre-save/pre-order here).