Handfuls of musicians’ plans to release new tunes were cut short in the wake of COVID-19. For some artists, not postponing their new albums and singles wasn’t an issue — it may just be a creative outlet for fans who feel alone in a time of quarantine.
“‘Can we get up and try to feel okay again?’ sort of takes on a new meaning/purpose itself for people at this moment in time,” Wallows, an indie band that debuted in 2017 with single “Pleaser,” said to Billboard. “The thought that no matter where we are or how alone/lost we feel right now, we can get up again and try to feel OK. We’re in it together.”
After the band finished off its first leg of the 2020 Nothing Happens Tour March 4, it released its latest single, “OK,” March 20, as well as the matching video online April 8. This release happened shortly after the Trump Administration’s declaration of a national emergency due to the novel coronavirus outbreak March 13. To release new music in the middle of a pandemic portrays that artists are paying more attention to their sales than actively using their online platform to reassure fans that everything will eventually be OK.
However, that is just far from the case.
The Wallows’ “OK” music video is colorful, goofy, upbeat and generally a retro ‘90s inspired visual, as the three boys go on a road trip to a house party. In an age where retro clothing and fads have begun to make their way back into Gen-Z interest, the attraction of the relatable video was prevalent, racking up 1.27 million views. Their fans seem to be using this as an outlet to cure boredom and keep their mind away from the pandemic.
One twitter user (@pleascr) said, “Wallows said, ‘I see y’all are in quarantine, here’s a song to get you through it,’ and I love that.”
Other fans online have used Wallows music to positively impact their physical and mental health in a time of isolation.
“Today I worked out to Wallows,” another twitter user (@omgplzross) said. “Best decision right now. The only thing keeping me sane in this quarantine is them.”
Jamming out in the car to Wallows, despite travel restrictions, has made the empty roads outside seem less dreary. The world around me truly does feel more, OK.
However, it isn’t OK that those who have paid to see Wallows in the next coming months most likely won’t see Dylan Minette’s new blue hair in person until 2021 — it might have a new color by then. The second leg of the Nothing Happens Tour had dates scheduled for May and June, which are now being postponed for a later date due to social distancing guidelines.
The current pandemic has affected many artists’ tour dates, including Harry Styles, who has postponed the April 15 start of the European leg of his “Love On Tour” to 2021.
The artist posted March 25 on Instagram a photograph of the tour dates with the caption, “For the safety of yourself and others, please self-isolate. We’re all in this together. I can’t wait to see you out on the road as soon as it’s safe to do so. Until then, treat people with kindness.”
And it doesn’t stop there.
Bandmate Niall Horan of One Direction also postponed his upcoming solo project. Just after the release of his second solo album “Heartbreak Weather” March 13, the artist was expecting to go on his U.S. tour.
“I look forward to being able to bring new music and a new tour for all of my fans around the world in 2021.” Horan said in an Instagram post April 3. “I want to announce new dates soon, but I don’t think it’s fair on you guys to do so until the dust has settled, and things have gone back to normal.”
But what will be the new normal?
It’s hard to say if after months of isolation, ignorant consumerism in markets and the loss of thousands of high school senior class experiences that things will be back to “normal.” Students soon going about their day, hanging out in large groups again, going to concerts and partying is looking pretty bleak.
If young people follow social distancing guidelines, this may become a possibility again. The summer of 2020 fun may not be canceled, and we may be able to see the artists we love.
However, these three artists aren’t the only musicians taking this self-isolation seriously just by postponing tour dates. Other musicians are trying to help young adults’ mental health by releasing new music.
After claiming he was taking a break from music in January 2019, and the highly anticipated “Eternal Atake” album dropped March 6, Lil Uzi Vert dropped “Eternal Atake (Deluxe) – Lil Uzi Vert vs. The World 2” March 13, a sequel to his second breakout album in 2016 “Lil Uzi Vert vs. The World.” This album was double the amount of tracks as the weeks previous, and sent fans into quarantine bliss.
“Self-quarantine will have me just fine with my blunts and that new Lil Uzi Vert album,” one Twitter user (@lazlogunner) said. Clearly, the large amount of tracks is enough to make self-isolation for this fan a more positive experience.
As a fan myself, I believe Uzi’s lyrics truly do have an enlightening spirit to them.
But others are beginning to get bored with the tracks and are anticipating a new release titled “Just Meh.” Uzi teased fans on Twitter with tweets like, “I should drop this new song with video” April 18 and, “I just made the realest s–t of my life,” April 15. It’s sending fans into excitement for new music, while listening to his latest on repeat. Fans have a theory that his new music is an entertaining troll-tactic against Playboi Carti’s new unreleased album “Red.”
The song cover is very similar to “Red’s” album art with both artists sitting, their sides facing the camera as they stare into nothing. Uzi aso copied Carti’s tweet, “. MoNDaY,” tweeting the same exact thing five minutes after, clearly mocking him.
One Twitter user (@playboijxy) said, “Bro, please let us Carti fans have something,” because of the ongoing feud between the two frequent collaborators. Longtime fans know how both artists have been able to shake online social media with how they portray their endearing yet rocky friendship, and fans can only anticipate a possible revival of “The Damned-influenced” mixtape Uzi and Carti teased in 2017.
A crossover, no matter how long they make us wait, would be absolutely epic.
After all this time, it’s clear that this has been an entertaining feud between the two for not only them but their fans as well.
Regardless of whether any of these artists continue actually releasing music this year, this is a good outlet for young people to take their mind off their susceptibility to coronavirus and being ripped out of their dorm rooms, forced into online schooling at home, when paying to study-away at college.
It may be disappointing you won’t be able to see your favorite artists until next year — after spending large amounts of money — but at least for now, fans can bask in new releases and support self-isolation from musicians they look up to. Students can grab some headphones, put on some new music and enjoy completing their government-mandated online schoolwork until things go back to “normal.”