The question of “Too soon to joke about the pandemic?” has never really been allowed a true gestation period, perhaps a byproduct of the speed of life in 2020. Indeed, the world went into lockdown in early March, and by April, the gallows-humored memes were already propagating in untold numbers.
Six months later, and we have what is likely the first full-on PPE video, courtesy of SLC nu-new-wavers I Don’t Know How But They Found Me—mercifully shortened to iDKHOW for journalistic pragmatism. This probably wouldn’t have been a good idea when personal protective equipment was in such short supply back in the spring, and was certainly no laughing matter. But the video for their new single “Leave Me Alone” (accidentally ironically titled?) finds them surrounded by a lot of retro looking hospital gear, while playing inside of plastic tents and bubbles—and, to be honest, it seems like a perfectly reasonable—and zeitgeisty—concept.
Frontman Dallon Weekes, formerly of Panic! at the Disco, is quick to point out its metaphorical intent.
“Most art is made to reflect the time,” he observes. “We had to make a video in the midst of a pandemic, so we incorporated the ideas of quarantining and sterile isolation into the video. Not just as a way of keeping everyone involved safe, but it also fit the themes of the song as well: quarantining yourself from toxic people and situations. Wanting to be left alone.”
The immediate success of the single, with more than a million streams already on Spotify, means they probably won’t have much luck in their quest to be left alone. And with its nearly spot on replication of the indelible aesthetics of mid-’80s Duran Duran (white boy funk riffs, squelchy synth blasts, fatted up bass), it hints that screaming female fans may just be in their future.
Oh, and please wear your mask.