Published June 9, 2020



Just released the MANIA music video yesterday. It’s been up on Spotify for a few days though since the original release date was last week, but I postponed the video premiere due to the George Floyd murder and Black Lives Matter taking over social media. It definitely wasn’t the right time for me to be sharing my new single release.

I want to say a few words about that before I move on. I spoke in an earlier blog post about how I considered myself a pretty up-to-date, social justice oriented person but was a bit scared of speaking up on issues that I didn’t feel were my place to speak on. This George Floyd thing just totally broke my heart and changed my view on that. Almost all my friends have been sharing important articles and information on social media that let me down a rabbit hole of research on systematic racism and police violence, and the sort of complacency of privileged people that allows these systems to remain. It’s absolutely MY job from my privileged position to research these issues and speak up about them, use my platform, no matter how big or small, to do my part in changing things – as well as changing things in my personal life and how I communicate with the people around me. Down to the small details too, just not being okay with your friends making racist/sexist/homophobic/whatever comments or jokes, always speaking up about it.

With that being said, Mania is a song about my basic bitch sad boy problems. Or, I guess it’s kind of a subversion of it. It’s written from a perspective of the toxicity in my brain having entirely taken over during a manic episode. So in the song I’m just behaving like a piece of shit and enjoying it. I was actually smiling when recording the vocals to try to get the vibe of the recording right. I like writing from a really shitty and selfish perspective and kind of highlighting the pathetic-ness of it. I’m talking about doing enough drugs to send my brain back into it’s ancient reptilian form and becoming the party cowboy king of Berlin, it’s just a lot of bullshit. I think most people’s brains go into this egomanic mode sometimes and it’s good to be aware of it and know it’s not all that healthy for you or the people around you.

The video was also meant as a subversion. I’m dressing and acting like this total sad boy from a Yung Lean video or whatever, but I’m making it kind of gross and lame and absurd. Some of it is recorded with purpose and a chosen outfit and scenario and whatever, and some of it is just random videos from my life shot on my phone. In some shots I look kind of handsome and cool, in others I’m a total trashy mess, spitting up blood and smoking a cigarette in the shower. So I’m kind of blurring the line between the real me and this character that I play. I think that’s also a metaphor for much of my songwriting and how I behave in real life. I can sometimes be inauthentically authentic and sometimes authentically inauthentic. I’m super proud of this video, thinking of it more as a starting point that I want to develop upon than the Heartbreakers video. My mom hated it though.

xoxo Bjarni