iDKHOW Comment on the L.A. Social Hierarchy with Single "Social Climb"

By Carly Tagendye

When Dallon Weekes left Panic! at the Disco in 2017, many fans were unsure about what the longtime bassist would do next. I Don’t Know How But They Found Me (iDKHOW), his new project formed with drummer Ryan Seaman, eased any anxieties that may have risen. A step away from Weekes’ usual pop punk repertoire, iDKHOW is a curious combination of alternative rock and nostalgia-based new wave, creating songs that intrigue listeners from their first notes. “Social Climb,” the duo’s latest single, is no exception. Taken from their 1981 Extended Play EP, the track’s synth-centered melody pairs meticulously with its visual counterpart—another music video bound to give Wes Anderson a run for his money. Despite the nod to Anderson, though, those vintage vibes and provoking ideas are entirely original to the band themselves.

Like much of iDKHOW’s music, “Social Climb” is a track that combines smooth vocals and irresistible beats with a darker undertone lurking beneath the surface. 

"'[The single] is about my experiences living in L.A. for almost a decade, orbiting this world of celebrity and money," says Weekes. "The parties that must be attended, the behaviors that must be's what it feels like to be alone in a crowded room." 

That sentiment is expressed clearly as, throughout the video, he narrates this fictional propaganda film, walking around an American Horror Story-looking mansion scattered with models, movie stars, and even fire-eaters. The occasional flash of phrases like “Communal Behavioral Synthesis” and “Requisite Social Conditioning,” interspersed among shots of the band jamming out, create a balance between the passion and pain that comes with their career. Despite the presence of obnoxious social-climbers and having to navigate the twisted maze that is the tumultuous music industry (represented physically and metaphorically in the video), there still seems to be room to make art that matters. Weekes and Seaman, if anything, have a grasp on that. 

iDKHOW are the band to make you reflect and reconsider. This track is just the right amount of cryptic, while providing the type of pop that’s sure to draw people in to their growing discography. Los Angeles “clout culture” is one to be wary of, and “Social Climb” speaks of its toxicity in a way that those who are unfamiliar can understand—it’s challenging to stay afloat in an industry dictated by status, influence, and wealth. However, as Weekes sings, “No one’s got control of what I do,” we are reminded that iDKHOW isn’t going to give up without a fight.

Make sure to keep up with iDKHOW on social media and via their website to find out what else they have up their sleeves.

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