It bears repeating how much I love this album. This isn’t even one of my favorite tracks on it (I tend to prefer the more lively tunes like the afro-beat inspired Violence, the new-wave tropidelic jam of Wide Awake!, and their more familiar post-punk style in Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and out of Patience) but this is still a solid song. I won’t attempt to do any in-depth analysis, but I do like this quote about it from the songwriter:
Well, it’s no stretch to say that it is a love song, with [the] status “it’s complicated.” The love in “Mardi Gras Beads” is a resignation to commitment — the idea that meaning and love is where you find it. It’s about a love that has been stalking the protagonist throughout his history of song. Note the many references to music, songwriting and familiar, past lyrics. You might say these lyrics have been repressed and yearning to be heard, but I wouldn’t say that – I wrote the damn song, other people can write about it. — Austin Brown
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ (I still like it, but it’s hard to get much higher than three stars when the rest of the album is so fucking good)
Last time I heard it: This whole album stays on pretty heavy rotation, so sometime in the last week or so. I’ve never directly chosen to listen to this specific song, but I might start a sort of post-punk ballad playlist around it at some point.