Chances are…by this point in time in 2020…there aren’t too many of us out there that wouldn’t find themselves relating to 100% of a song like “Pandemic Blues” right now. Believe me when I say, I’m not immune myself either…if you ask me, life’s really been on one heck of an up/down rollercoaster of emotions this year that has you feeling normal one minute, and questioning everything entirely in the next. Where does it end? When does it end? DOES it end? And IF it does – what comes AFTER these isolated times are over, and is the past we once knew, simply finished now? “It’s a miserable time for the human race” as you’re well aware of…all of these thoughts & questions running through our heads right now will keep you up at night to say the least…& they can definitely induce the “Pandemic Blues.”
From what I’ve gathered, artist Katie Curtin is definitely our kind of people; she’s a poet & a songwriter with a highly collaborative spirit – and you know we love that here at SBS. From what I understand, she wrote the original poem, then enlisted good ol’ Bart Balint to help assist in adapting it into a song & then set about doing exactly that from the music to the microphone, tapped Melanie Balint Gray to bring the sweetness to the background vocals, and then voila, here we are today, complete with a highly-engaging lyric-video to support this single. Alright, alright…word on the street is that there’s even MORE to it than that…keep in mind we’re in the middle of a pandemic y’all…y’know…fairly isolated & such? Katie went global in the creation of “Pandemic Blues” – she’s a fellow Canadian to begin with in neighbouring Toronto, who splits her own time between there and Mexico; Melanie & Bart are near Washington, DC, and the video Bruno Taniguchi lives even further out there, located in Brazil. And that’s just a warm-up to the amount of names attached to this project when it comes to the video; you’ll see all kinds of people featured throughout in brilliant photos that range from the root of the song’s Blues-influence and shots of the former outside world we once knew, to the mix insanity & hilarity at how so many have been acting throughout the pandemic in isolation from toilet-paper hoarders to reborn clean-freaks. You’ll see frustrated parents, wine, masks, and a whole lot of people staring at screens looking for just a minute or two of reprieve and a break from thinking about Covid-19 all day, every day. Sound familiar?
The amount of character in Bart’s vocals fits right into a song with a theme like this, and Melanie does a great job of chiming in to support him as he sings his way through this candid Covid tune. There’s zero doubt about its relatable subject, that’s for sure – I’d imagine that the theme of “Pandemic Blues” and the feeling itself, is pretty darn universal out there these days. But as I’ve commented in the past on other pandemic-related tunes of the right here & now, we’ve gotta take away what positives we can as well…and some of those are definitely on display throughout this single from Katie, Bart, and Melanie. Collaborations for one…art & music for a couple more…comfort…catharsis…a togetherness that didn’t seem to somehow quite exist before between us all. Songs like “Pandemic Blues” are as much designed for our entertainment as they are a reminder that tragedy can still be an inspiration and turned into art. In a situation like the one we’re all in now…it’s songs like these that remind us we’re never really alone.
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