Wolf Parade’s new album, Cry Cry Cry, ends with the track “King of Piss and Paper.” It starts with these lines:

In a way, Spencer Krug, Dan Boeckner and company ask these questions throughout the whole LP, their first since going on hiatus back in 2011. On “Who Are Ya,” the Canadian band frets over their place in the rock canon: [LISTEN]

On “Valley Boy,” Krug mourns the death of one such father, Leonard Cohen, while lamenting the results of the 2016 Presidential election: [LISTEN]

If the music sounded as lost or uncertain as the lyrics do at times, Cry Cry Cry might have been unlistenable. But thankfully, Krug and Boeckner’s various side projects (Moonface, Divine Fits, etc.) seem to have strengthened their chops. The assured vocals, spry rhythms and beguiling tunes counterbalance the angst of songs like “Valley Boy” and “You’re Dreaming.”

Wolf Parade’s confidence comes through in their lyrics too. On the opening track, “Lazarus Online,” Krug describes finding strength in a message from a fan that has gone through hard times: [LISTEN]

This serves as an answer to the first two questions of “King of Piss and Paper.” It provides justification for the last two as well. Wolf Parade can sing about themselves because they’re singing about people like Rebecca too. They can’t fix all that has gone wrong in the world, but they do their best on Cry Cry Cry to make it more bearable.