To say that the global pandemic has changed everything doesn’t feel like an understatement, especially after witnessing the effect COVID-19 has had on music. Take Betta Lemme‘s new song, “I’M BORED.” Initially written as a “joke” until, as she puts it, “real life became a joke,” the new song – out Friday, May 8 – has been transformed to the uplifting anthem for those going slightly crazy while self-quarantining. Against an explosive dance beat, a remarkable departure from her current catalog, the trilingual titan sings about looking out at a world full of “Swiping armies / Robot Zombies / Post for money / Ain’t it funny?” and being bored with it all.
At first glance, it’s an anthem for those disillusioned with the social-media status quo. It’s a rejection of sponsored posts from influencers, of self-actualization via app, of a generation raised by its one. Put the COVID-19 filter on the song, and it becomes even more profound. Suddenly, a bored Betta realizes that, while socially-distant from everyone, this digital substitute doesn’t cut it. However, just because she’s bored doesn’t mean she’s going out to find adventure – at least, not until the “Shelter-In-Place” orders are lifted.
” ‘I’M BORED’ was written as a joke, but then real life became a joke, and as a result, the song had to become real.” She adds, “The world has been turned upside-down. Some are taking it worse than others, some are on the front lines, but for the most part I feel lucky that I have the ability to stay home and be bored because right now being bored is an absolute privilege. I’m choosing to see the glass half full while being fortunate enough to do my civic duty in pajamas.”
It’s been a while since Betta lit up the dance floor, and she’s been missed. The Montreal-bred singer/songwriter’s last single, “Play,” arrived in April 2019. Along with it, Betta delivered a rallying cry with an eerily prophetic interview. “I know emo is coming back hard, but I’d rather dance and cry than just cry,” Lemme told PAPER. “The world is in peril. People are forgetting how to genuinely connect with each other. With ‘Play,’ I pictured how nice it would be, as a lonely kid, for someone to reach out at a party and include me…. I know deep down that if I just had the courage to go on the dance floor or ask a friend to hang out, it would transform my day. Imagine if the world displayed more of this inclusive behavior — the happiness would be contagious.” Hopefully, happiness is all that Betta is catching, and with this new song, it’s hard not to feel a burst of joy.
“I’M BORED” is out now.