The Chainsmoker’s new single “Sick Boy” has a message to share with its listeners, and that message is a little dark. It may be unheard of to look for meaning, relevance, and social commentary within the synth beat of a dance song, but that is exactly what the DJ duo of Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart have given us. According to Pall it is direction the duo insists on taking, as it is one more step in their overall quest of identity. Pall and Taggart do not want to be just a pair of DJ’s, they also do not want to become parodies of themselves, what they want is to be established as artists. “Sick Boy” is the first of a new series of songs that represent the groups journey of self-discovery, and so far their fans are ready to come along.
“Sick Boy” targets the addiction of social media, remarking on how it syphons identity, and touching on the duo’s on frustration with overexposure. As celebrities they are constantly in the spotlight with no real privacy to be found. “Sick Boy” and singles like “Closer” are examples of the duo’s involvement in song writing. One of many elements that set the duo apart from the rest of the genre. Another element is Andrew Taggart providing the lead vocals. Usually the human element within EDM, DJ’s look to other artists. According to Pall the group does not want to make typical dance music anymore but create a body of work that focuses on their identity as artists. “Its really exciting to witness our music find emotional connection in our listeners” Pall said, stating that the group makes music for themselves first.
It is also about relevance. According to Taggart it is very easy to become a parody of yourself. The haunting epidemic of irrelevance within music chases many an artist. Popular one second, outdated the next. Pushing boundaries is a way for the Chainsmokers to remain at the forefront, to constantly relate to their listeners, and not lose their voice. So far it is working.