Ahead of the release, both MxPx’s Mike Herrera and Wolfe issued special messages to Alternative Press readers, inviting them to check out the new track. Herrera expressed his gratitude to fans, thanking them for listening to the new song.
“Say Yes” is a bouncy, feel-good pop-punk number, featuring closely intertwined vocals from the two artists. The singers take turns on the verses, their lines layered over a dense web of churning guitar parts and instrumental stabs.
Lyrically, the song builds to a powerful finale with a series of lines set up by the refrain “If you say yes…” The track captures the emotional roller coaster of young summer love, the themes of enthusiasm and anxiety underscored by musical lows and highs.
The new song follows a string of 2021 singles from MxPx. The group released “Can’t Keep Waiting” in April. Herrera, who also performs with Goldfinger and Tumbledown, explained to AltPress that the song spoke to the intense emotions that accompany growth and self-discovery.
In June, MxPx followed up with the release of “Secret Weapon.” The tune was accompanied by a visual, showcasing the group as they revisit the fast-paced title track of their 2007 album, Secret Weapon.
That video was an outgrowth of the group’s “Between This World And The Next” livestream series. When the COVID-19 shutdown began, MxPx decided they couldn’t wait for concerts to return. The group took advantage of the possibilities of social media and live streaming. The series premiered in October, signaling the group’s first full-band concert since the shutdown began.
In an exclusive discussion with AltPress, Herrera underscored the uniqueness of their approach to livestreaming.
“We wanted these online performances to be different from a regular live in-person show, so we approached it more like live TV,” Herrera says to AltPress. “Not only do we play a live set of songs, but the show is also interactive. Fans can jump into the chat, ask questions, request songs and even help build the many unscripted moments throughout the show in real time. We wanted to make ‘Between This World And The Next,’ our online show series, stand on its own—something new and exciting but different from everything else we have done in the past.”
Herrera also revealed the way in which their new livestream format is reshaping not only their live performances but also the way they craft their songs. Speaking of “Can’t Keep Waiting,” Herrera said the song developed in dialogue with their audience during the course of live performances.
“We actually played [‘Can’t Keep Waiting’] live on our ‘Between This World And The Next’ series for months before finally recording and releasing it,” he says. “This was the first time we played a song to an audience that was not entirely finished. They got to see ‘Can’t Keep Waiting’ get tweaked each time we played it and develop into the song we released. If you put in the work, good things will come back in ways you cannot quantify. ‘Can’t Keep Waiting’ is our best song. And I know it is said that all songs can’t be good, but why not? My mindset is to put out our best song every time we release something. What a concept, right? We are the best we have ever been!”
“Say Yes” sees MxPx take a more directly collaborative approach, teaming up with RIVALS’ Wolfe to record the new track. RIVALS were also busy this year. In March, the rising dark-pop act dropped their new full-length, Sad Looks Pretty On Me, via Smartpunk Records.