Think Electric! is a socially conscious response to the struggles of living in a community that’s often an afterthought to the rest of the country.
As someone who lived in Halifax, NS, for five formative years in my early 20’s, Property’s latest EP, Think Electric!, resonates deeply with my east coast experience. Blurring the lines between post-punk, pop, and rock, the band — who hails from St. John’s, NL — plays the kind of lighthearted, boppy guitar riffs that would surely result in lively shows set in packed university bars across Canada, were that still a thing. Riding in tandem with these toe-tapping, shoulder-shimmying riffs are Sarah Harris’ vocals that, upon first listen, might be mistaken for passivity if it weren’t for the urgency and literalness of the lyrics.
The EP kicks off with “In Gloom,” a catchy tune that will have your head nodding along to lyrics like, “I’m in love with apathy,” that describes the paranoia and anxiety of completing a university degree, touring with a band, and working on a new EP, all while living in a slow-moving small city in Eastern Canada. As if in answer to this resignation, the next song and title track feels like a call to action, at first inviting and then demanding that everyone realize they need to “Think Electric!” to shake themselves free of mental and physical stagnation.
Whether it’s questioning the choices that landed them a mind-numbing job serving tourists in “The Isolator” or dreaming of escaping to a different place in “Running Away,” it’s clear that Property suffers from an acute case of cabin fever. By the time we reach the end of the EP with “Lonely Love,” Property admits their only chance to rid themselves of the repetitive sameness in their lives and creating space for true change is to go somewhere new, but that’s easier said than done: “I don’t want to start all over / I just don’t know that I can grow here / I’m taking pity on myself / Wishing that I was somewhere else.”
With Think Electric!, Property presents a critique of the dull task of growing up and living in a small city on the easternmost edge of Canada. Yet, in light of the past year, each song could double as an anthem defining the experience of isolation we’ve experienced together as a nation. After nearly a year of lockdowns, we’re all going more than a little stir crazy. I can’t help but think the whole country has been “In Gloom” for about a year now. However, the experience Property chronicles on Think Electric! is more than merely a sense of loneliness due to a lack of social stimulation. Theirs is a socially conscious response to living in a community that, save for tourist aspirations, is largely forgotten by the rest of the country and thus made to feel insignificant. Stuck in a seemingly endless monotonous loop, Property wrestles between succumbing to their apathetic lifestyle and daring to turn their minds towards taking a leap of faith — to thinking electric — which just might jolt them out of their rut and set them on a path towards real growth.