As Social Media Dominates Our Lives, Halfloves Want To Know "Do U Follow Me?"
As social media plays an increasingly larger role in our lives, it was inevitable that artists would find inspiration in the topic. The Iowa band Halfloves have done just that with their new song, “Do U Follow Me?”
It’s their first new music since their 2019 album “Dazer,” and it comes at a time where the band is preparing for a return to live music.
“I think early in the pandemic, we were kind of just like ‘let's just not do anything at all until this blows over,’” said Jeffrey Roalson, the band’s lead singer and guitarist. “Then there was a middle of the pandemic where it was kind of like ‘okay, it’s going to be a lot longer, so let’s take a little break and focus on songwriting.’ Then it went into a more bummed-out zone, but in the winter we got more into a groove again, and more optimistic about writing and stuff.”
“We were still rehearsing and everything, but there weren’t any shows to be played,” said Zach Ziemer, drummer for Halfloves. “It’s tough as an artist.”
“As a band, it was definitely difficult. For me personally, it was really inspirational to start writing.” said Trevor Polk, the band’s keyboardist and one of its songwriters. “I definitely did a lot more writing during that March through summer, and this song was one of those that came from that quarantine writing inspiration.”
Halfloves also launched a TikTok account earlier this year, enabling the band to show off a different side of themselves.
“We’re all into absurd comedy, and that’s kind of what makes it on there,” said Ziemer.
“TikTok’s fun because it’s low-risk,” said Roalson. “We post some musical stuff, obviously, but a lot of people who watch the TikTok videos are in no way connected to us as a band at all. One of our videos has almost 700,000 views. The difference between those types of videos, versus the ones that get 100-200 views, is a fun and mysterious thing about that platform. It drives into the ethos of ‘just throw it up there, and don’t think too much about it.’ I don’t know how much it’s helping us in a musical sense, but oh well.”
The song “Do U Follow Me?” was directly inspired by the use of social media at the time of the racial justice protests across the country in 2020, specifically the “Blackout Tuesday” trend.
“It was this really interesting thing to be an artist during that time,” said Polk. “We use the platform for our brand, and for us, all the time. We were trying to think ‘where do I need to take some time to listen, and also promote?’ How do we communicate something so deep and so heavy on social media, and what motivations are there for us doing that? Is it actually in solidarity, or is it this brand thing?”
“We made the decision as a band that we wanted to be a part of justice, and support this movement and show solidarity,” said Polk. “Then it came out that having the black square with the hashtag #blacklivesmatter was actually blacking out the feed, and all the different resources that people could get.”
The music video for “Do U Follow Me?” is the first Halfloves video to feature all five members of the band. They filmed the video in Chicago with their friend Max Moore, whom the band had worked with in the past.
“It was the middle of the pandemic, and we didn’t have a lot of options,” said Nate Cooper, who plays multiple instruments in the band, including the Wurlitzer keyboard and synthesizers on the new single. “We couldn’t get a crew together, or a whole bunch of actors. We met up with Max and wore some outfits, and kind of goofed off a bit. They were able to make a story out of it.”