The solo project of Fun. guitarist/producer Jack Antonoff, New York's Bleachers make buoyantly hooky, grandly emotional pop music influenced by '80s pop and college rock. The group's debut, 2014's Strange Desire, cracked the Top 20 of the Billboard 200. They returned in 2017 with their sophomore album, Gone Now.
Antonoff initially began working on music for Bleachers in 2012 while touring in support of Fun.'s Grammy-winning album Some Nights. Drawing upon his love of '80s pop and darker college rock sounds (especially the soundtracks of classic '80s John Hughes films like The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink), he recorded the songs onto his laptop. The group's debut single, "I Wanna Get Better," was released in the spring of 2014 by RCA, with an album, Strange Desire, following that summer. The record was produced in part by John Hill and Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode, Yaz, Erasure) and featured appearances by Yoko Ono and Grimes. After the record's release, Antonoff put together a live band and launched a tour that lasted through much of 2015. That September, Bleachers released Terrible Thrills, Vol. 2, which featured versions of all the songs from Strange Desire performed by female artists, including Carly Rae Jepsen, Elle King, Tinashe, and Antonoff's sister Rachel.
For 2017's Gone Now, which reunited Bleachers with Clarke and featured a cameo by Lorde, he took inspiration from his memories of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and his sister's death from cancer when he was 18. He recorded the album in his home studio and previewed it in an art installation that replicated his childhood bedroom. The album peaked at number six on the Billboard Alternative Albums chart. A second compilation, Terrible Thrills, Vol. 3, arrived the following year. In November 2020, Bleachers released the single "Chinatown," which featured guest vocals by Bruce Springsteen. (Matt Collar, AMG)