COVID-19 has changed everything — from travel to love to the daily routines that occupy much of our time. It has hit musicians hard in different ways with tours being cancelled, records delayed, and financial stability being thrown out the window, such as it for some artists. For some, though, including Bay Area psych rockers Everyone Is Dirty, this confinement and the anxiety it has wrought has altered the very fabric of their music — resulting in albums whose themes have changed mid-course and reflect a darker introspection that previously acknowledged.
Prior to all the shutdowns and pandemic-related distancing, the band had begun work on a new record called eine kleine jukebox baby, a collection of songs which was intended as a tribute to singer-violinist Sivan Lioncub’s grandfather who was a holocaust survivor. But as 2020 kept throwing darker shadows across the globe, the album shifted to function more as a World War III prophesy, exploring dream-like states of consciousness while juxtaposing abstract scenes of violence and political unrest within its harried atmospheres.
For their latest single, “Killing of the Firstborn Son”, the band casts a wide net of screeching stringwork, martial percussion, and Lioncub’s bracing vocal theatrics before seguing into plucked indie-pop and back again. Alternately calming and aggressive, the track accurately reflects the growing social and emotional divisions occurring all over the world. We’ve grown accustomed to terrible news and scenes of horrible injustice in recent months, but, thankfully, there are also moments when a lightness is able to make its way through. The song balances these diverging viewpoints perfectly, offering opposing rhythmic movements that capture our chaotic surrounding environments with a vivid effortlessness..
“‘Killing Of The Firstborn Son’ was inspired by a train ride I took with Chis from Berlin to Prague to meet Tyler,” Sivan Lioncub explains. “We are eating the best schnitzel we’ve ever had. We got it from the kiosk, and it’s so hot it’s burning the styrofoam plate. I’m taking bites of train schnitzel, looking out the window at snow-covered fields, and I can’t help imagining my grandfather marching naked in the snow during the WW2 holocaust. I have this sick feeling in my stomach. I’m thinking, is today different or has nothing changed?”
You can purchase the track here.