On June 4th 2021, Halfloves, an indie-rock band from Iowa, release their upbeat new single ‘Do U Follow Me?’ – their first new release since 2019’s album Dazer. This new track quickly grabs you with a heady mix of funk/rock and thought-provoking lyrics. According to the band, they had been sitting on the bassline since 2016, inspired by Kendrick Lamar’s ‘King Kunta’ and Gorillaz’s ‘Stylo’, but it wasn’t until the events of Blackout Tuesday on June 2, 2020, that the rest of the song unfolded. What unfolded is a combination of driving bassline, shimmering keyboards and funky rhythm guitar with laidback vocals.
Lyrically, ‘Do U Follow Me?’ reflects on our love of using technology to share every aspect of our lives. The addiction that some of us feel to social media and the number of likes and follows that we get is skewered here with the band reflecting on their own role in this social media frenzy. As they put it themselves, “it’s just curious how something as seemingly innocuous as a technology that enables you to share photos of your dog with your family also has this enormous power to subconsciously direct the behaviours of millions and shape the zeitgeist of a culture, transforming the deepest parts of our psychology and sense of purpose”. It is refreshing to see a band being so self-reflective in the confines of what is essentially a pop song and you have to hope that people listen to the lyrics as well as enjoying the beat and the melody.
So, ‘Do U Follow Me?’ works on two levels. On the one hand, it is a thought-provoking reflection on the way we have become bound up in a pointless drive for online approval. At the same time, it is catchy, upbeat and melodic and I can see it making audiences dance when played live. Do U follow Halfloves? You should.