This is the third song off of the latest album Parallax, released in early November. Fans of Bradford Cox’s past solo endeavors will not be surprised to find it has a somber tone. The lyrics are shaped by themes of alienation and futility. In reacting to these themes Cox’s voice vacillates between sounding pained – as he strains in a higher register – and sounding intoxicated, delivering the words slow and easy, and often deliberately late to the beat, as if submitting to his darker feelings contains its own kind of numbing reward. What’s odd is that this is actually a love song (Te Amo means I Love You), and Cox is portraying his idea of two human beings experiencing a profound and beautiful connection, that connection being a mutual sadness (You can come around when you’re down/you’re always down.)
The supporting music seems blissfully unaware of the song’s unsettling juxtaposition of moods, consisting of two playful loops that alternate every four bars. It remains faithfully repetitive and sweetly innocuous for the duration of the track, making the thematic contrast in the voice and lyrics stand out all the more. ”Te Amo” is both lovely and bitter, again proving Cox’s ability to make you feel two things at once, and feel them deeply. Check out his recent Pitchfork interview for insight into his views on topics ranging from indie-rock to hair color alteration.