“Sick Boy”, the newest single from The Chainsmokers, marks a darker turn for the Grammy-winning duo that gave us “Roses” and “Don’t Let Me Down”. The single was released in January after a nine-month drought of new music from the pair and is distinct both in that it is clearly a Chainsmokers creation yet is like nothing we’ve heard from them before.
Drew Taggart, one half of the duo, says that the new sound is a reflection of how he and partner Alex Pall have grown as entertainers, and is also reflective of our social-media driven culture. As he recently told Forbes Magazine, “We think about how we relate to the world now with social media, and how much you’re projecting. You can only tell so much of a story there, too. Then, everything else is left up to their interpretation, and that’s not something that just we artists go through. Everybody does.” Alex Pall reiterated this idea in an interview with Ryan Seacrest: “[Narcissism] is just something that we all see every day and live with now that everyone has a social media platform… it’s not necessarily a bad thing—you kind of have to figure out… the way you’re presenting yourself to the world … it’s self-inflicted, but also a necessary evil in communicating in today’s world.”
These ideas are clear in the song’s lyrics:
And don’t believe the narcissism When everyone projects and expects you to listen to ’em Make no mistake, I live in a prison That I built myself, it is my religion
Taggart and Pall are betting that the new sound will be well-received by fans, as the group plans to release further songs that are different lyrically and musically from what they’ve previously created. They also plan to collaborate with other producers, something they’ve never done before. However, true fans need not worry that the duo will stray from its roots – Taggart and Pall assure that they will stay within the pop and EDM sound that has rendered them such huge success.