Razzmatazz, Debut Album Done Right!

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Emily Sandberg, Contributor

The long-awaited debut album, Razzmatazz, from the band I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME was released on October 23, 2020. “Fun, flamboyant, and entirely of its time,” is how Sarah Jamieson of DIYmag described the brand-new sound. Fans and critics have been patiently waiting for this new music since the band’s previous release in 2018. 

The premier single and opening track, “Leave Me Alone,” drew plenty of attention with its groovy synthesizers, upbeat drums, and heavy bassline. Vocalist Dallon Weekes’ powerful vocals prime the listener for the excitement that the rest of the album has in store. 

Next on the tracklist, “Mad IQs,” shows a wide range of dynamics from start to finish. The flowing melody pairs perfectly with the clever lyrics. It is a fantastic commentary piece on the subject of how toxic Hollywood and the music industry can be, based on Weekes’ experiences. 

 The album takes a complete shift to more organic instruments and crooning vocals on the track, “Nobody Likes The Opening Band.” This lovely-yet-fleeting song presents a very theatrical sound combined with ironic and sarcastic lyrics. This song made a revival from the early days of the band and was finally brought to life on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. 

Fun and lively electric guitars mixed with spiteful lyrics are easily recognizable on the track “New Invention.” The catchy chorus and heavy drum beat are sure to be glued in your head for days!

“From The Gallows” features low-fi inspired mixing and a very vintage atmosphere. This slow, jazzy song features suave vocals and highlights a spoken word poetry verse. 

The sixth track, “Clusterhug,” was brought back from a demo that was recorded for Weekes’ previous band, The Brobecks. This is one of the most romantic songs on Razzmatazz and the attention to detail Weekes placed on the instrumentation and vocals is stunning. 

“Sugar Pills” is described as a “sassy little number” by Rock Sound Magazine. Following two slower, more gentle songs that the album has to offer, this track drastically picks up the pace. It is an unexpected burst of fun that is easily one of the most danceable songs on the album. The high notes that are sung by Weekes in the pre-chorus fill the song with an extraordinary amount of lively spirit!

In “Kiss Goodnight,” the band’s sound relaxes yet again with a very calm, slow track. This simple love song features a pulsing beat and synth bass. This track demonstrates some of Weekes’ simpler songwriting and lyrics, but that only makes the song’s meaning even clearer. It is an amazing take on the classic trope of needing a romantic partner so much that leaving them is comparable to the feeling of death. 

Lyrical genius is unquestionably present in the track “Lights Go Down,” especially on lines such as: “not every hollow is sleepy as this one.” This funk-heavy song is sure to put anyone in a cheerful mood. Pleasant surprises appear around every corner in this number, including a flavorful saxophone solo. 

“Need You Here” is a sentimental song about how much Weekes’ family means to him. It features a vocal appearance from Weekes’ daughter along with audio from a recording from when she was younger. This is one of the softer tracks on the album, but undoubtedly one of the most emotionally touching. 

“Door” is a short and sweet ukulele song with compelling, tear-jerking harmonies. The bittersweet juxtaposition of the lyrics and the melody leaves the listener begging for more after the final note. This deep cut features great contrast from all other songs on the album because it appears to be the only track that directly discusses the raw emotions of sadness and feeling mentally unwell in a manner that isn’t sarcastic or ironic. 

The title track, “Razzmatazz,” is a rock-inspired track with confident and dynamic vocals. The chorus is booming and powerful, and the verses highlight some of the best lyric writing on the entire album. 

Razzmatazz in its entirety is a very exciting experience, filled with vintage moments with modern touches. It presents the perfect balance between energy and emotion topped off with beautiful lyrics and vocals. These songs are absolute ear-worms that you do not want to miss out on!