The thing about nostalgia is: it belongs firmly in the past. If it’s a wistful regret, this means that either we’re romanticizing the past or we haven’t put sufficient energy and attention toward creating a satisfying present. If it’s a shuddering remembrance of mistakes made years ago, then it’s time to learn from those mistakes and move beyond them into a wiser tomorrow. In the case of Jackson Reed’s “Generation Vietnam,” it’s a little of both.
He describes the song as being “about U.S.A’s military conscription in the 1960’s and imaging men my age being chosen randomly for the Vietnam War. Living in the music and drug culture of the 60’s would be fun, but on the other hand, incredibly scary if you were forced to go to war.” Sadly, it seems that our world’s history is built upon the wars fought and as such, a reality where young men (and women) are sent off to fight someone else’s battles is just one dangerous leader and one bad decision away. This simple fact gives a song like this a contemporary dark undertone.
With his solo album The November Gales EP, Reed returns to music after a three-year hiatus. The album was engineered by Jonas Bonnetta at Port William Sound, mastered by Gavin Gardiner at Lacquer Channel and artwork is drawn by Kyle Field of Little Wings. It comes out on October 14 on Deadplant Records.