With the release of their new single, “Sick Boy”, the Chainsmokers made a risky move by setting off in a darker direction, both lyrically and musically. Fans can immediately recognize the change in style from previous hits. The upbeat electronic sound has been swapped for a darker, more serious one, although still catchy.
If you’re not familiar with the Chainsmokers, they are an electronic dance music band consisting of Drew Taggart and Alex Pall. Their most popular song is “Closer”, which is their first number one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. Their song “Don’t Let Me Down” also received a Grammy for Best Dance Recording. Lyrics of hits such as these have centered on lighter themes like partying, taking selfies, and romantic flings. “Sick Boy” marks the end of the cheery dance music phase and the beginning of one that is more serious and socially aware.
Drew Taggart elaborated on the intent of their new single and plans for the future of the band, stating that they’ve grown up and want to talk about issues that they, and many other people are currently facing. Particularly, the Chainsmokers want to deliver messages about the way the current generation is growing up and functioning in society.
The lyrics for “Sick Boy” accomplish just that, tackling the issue of growing up in a society in which social media is heavily consumed. Taggart explained that it is hard growing up with social media because it is very easy for people to know you and also to misinterpret you. Young people growing up today compete to get as many followers and likes as possible, causing some to lose themselves and to base their worth on how popular they are.
A powerful line in ‘Sick Boy’ summarizes Taggart’s message nicely.
“Feed yourself with my life’s work. How many likes is my life worth?”
As far as expectations for how their music will be received, Taggart wants the music the music to be relatable to people on a deeper level, while remaining fun.