Song of the Week: Muse’s Explosive “Won’t Stand Down”

Barrie, Years & Years, and LAUNDRY DAY also released essential tracks

Won't Stand Down Muse
Muse, photo by Nick Fancher

    Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Muse provides the soundtrack for revolution.

    Music, like any other part of popular culture, is inevitably cyclical. Influence becomes interpolation when artists are, by design, mining the past to find the next great way to move into the future.

    When it comes to storytelling, too, there are some things that will always remain relevant. Muse has tapped into one such theme with their first song in four years. Frontman Matt Bellamy says “Won’t Stand Down” is “a song about standing your ground against bullies, whether that be on the playground, at work or anywhere.” The track has all the grit and defiance needed to keep the song from moving into cliche territory, pushing the historically moody and alternative group closer to metal.


    Muse’s last studio album arrived back in 2018, and we live in a different world now. This sound feels like an appropriate course-correction for the group ahead of their ninth LP. Industrial distortions provide the backdrop for the lyrics, while the music video features the gloomiest rave imaginable. With an aesthetic that wouldn’t feel out of place in Dune or Mad Max, the visuals tie the apocalyptic vibe all the way together. Things might feel grim, but Muse isn’t ready to stop fighting yet.

    — Mary Siroky
    Contributing Editor