IDKHOW Releases Debut Album ‘Razzmatazz’

%28Courtesy+Fearless+Records%29

(Courtesy Fearless Records)

By Zoe Gottlieb, Arts Writer

 

While 2020 has inarguably brought a lot of hardship to the lives of many, it has also allowed certain music groups to tap into their roots, rediscover their identities and bring us fresher music than ever before. 

In August, Salt Lake City based duo I Dont Know How But They Found Me teased the release of their latest album “Razzmatazz” with a lyric video for single “Leave Me Alone.” On Oct. 23, the 37-minute album was released into the world, with a sound reminiscent of the duo’s earlier releases such as “Choke” and “Do It All The Time” prevalent in the record.

For those of us who are already fans of Mother Mother, Joywave and other bands with reverb and distortion techniques in their toolbox, iDKHOW brings us an exciting blend of pop and synth sounds full of eighties nostalgia for “Razzmatazz.” 

Formation

For many years, iDKHOW was a secret harbored by frontman Dallon Weekes and drummer Ryan Seaman. The two began to realize their potential as a duo during Seaman’s brief time spent in Weekes’ former band The Brobecks all the way back in 2008. 

Although Weekes and Seaman have collaborated on various projects — including Weekes’ “Sickly Sweet Holidays” and “Please Don’t Jump (It’s Christmas)” — Weekes was very much doing his own thing all the way up until 2017 when he finally severed ties with pop project Panic! At The Disco.

The lack of punctuation in I Dont Know How But They Found Me can be seen as a rebellion against the box Weekes had to force himself into while writing songs and singing background vocals for P!ATD. As a result, he has forged a new path and a name for himself as a reigning alternative singer in the music industry.

“Choke,” iDKHOW’s most famous single released in October 2017, rested comfortably at number eight on the iTunes Alt Rock charts. Now garnering even more success with the debut album “Razzmatazz,” iDKHOW seems to be enjoying huge affirmations from their listenership. 

Tracklist

“Razzmatazz” features a variety of ’80s hallmarks, including the use of digital synthesizers and bold experimentation with computerized sounds. Some standout tracks are “From the Gallows” for its Sinatra-esque crooning style of vocals offset by futuristic beats, as well as “Sugar Pills” and title track “Razzmatazz.”

“Lights Go Down,” which moves at a noticeably slower tempo, feels like a sequel to “Social Climb” from the duo’s “1981 Extended Play” EP in terms of its lyrics. “Nobody Likes The Opening Band” is a powerful display of Weekes’ vocals, alluding with a touch of irony to the successes enjoyed by iDKHOW while making peace with his years spent in P!ATD frontman Brendon Urie’s shadow. 

“Sugar Pills” is a song tough to get out of your head. With a strong, omnipresent bassline and Weekes’ lingering falsetto notes, this track unquestionably overpowers the rest, being distinct in terms of speed and the level of punch it delivers. Its lyrics tackle the rinse-and-repeat cycle of taking pills in order to make ourselves feel better. 

Verdict

“Razzmatazz” delivers on what we’ve come to expect from iDKHOW, with razor-sharp vocals, strong reverb and digital synth sounds that make each track feel like a time capsule. Weekes and Seaman have proven to be a dynamic duo, counterbalancing each other’s roles and for the most part giving each other an equal share of the spotlight. 

Fans of iDKHOW’s earlier releases and even P!ATD fans will rejoice in the richness of Dallon Weekes’ lyricism and talent displayed on this album. Every song that comes from the band has hit potential, and iDKHOW has proven yet again with “Razzmatazz” to dedicate that level of energy into everything they produce. 

5/5

 

[email protected]

@ZoeGott