Musical duo I Dont Know How But They Found Me — stylized iDKHOW — produce the perfect blend of Millennial/Gen Z existentialism and 1980s glam rock with their debut album Razzmatazz.
Formed by Dallon Weekes and Ryan Seaman in 2016, iDKHOW built a cult following through a unique marketing tactic. Despite past associations with bands like Panic! At The Disco and Falling In Reverse, the duo decided against using their history as a launchpad.
They originally marketed their music videos as “found footage” of a band from the 80s that never amounted to anything. Weekes and Seaman built iDKHOW up from the dust, performing in dive bars and denying the existence of the group when asked about it.
The word “razzmatazz” is described as a noisy and exciting activity meant to attract attention. Nothing could describe this album better. Filled with performative and theatrical vocals, intricate lyrics and thrilling instrumentals, Razzmatazz definitely grabs your attention.
iDKHOW gets straight to the point with the opening track “Leave Me Alone,” a powerful statement calling out the toxicity of celebrity culture. The song addresses an unidentified person who sells their soul for fame and fortune at the expense of their friendships.
Following another powerhouse anthem, iDKHOW mellows down with “Nobody Likes The Opening Band.” It was first released in 2018 as a free download and is an ode to the opening bands of the world struggling for an audience. Weekes sings out a plea for people to “Take pity on the opening band, / Cause no one came to see them except their mom and dad.” A tasteful trio of voice, piano and tambourine, I’d argue this as one of my favorites from the album.
Another top track of mine is “Clusterhug,” which follows a chaotic and destructive relationship. While it was written before the COVID-19 pandemic, certain lines are eerily relevant. The lovers are reckless in their passion and “Disseminate disease, doing anything that we please.” Weekes then compares the relationship to a “holy quarantine,” implying isolation from anything but themselves.
Near the end of the album is a heartfelt tribute to Weekes’ family. “Need You Here” stresses the love he has for his family, featuring vocals from his daughter Amelie. Weekes fervently apologizes for his extended absences but makes it clear “there is no other place I would rather be” than with his family. It’s vulnerable and innocent while remaining upbeat.
The title track of the album is also its conclusion. “Razzmatazz” circles back to the belief that celebrity culture is corruptive and corrosive. The first verse treats fame as a negotiation, saying “A star is born, and that’s the trade / For everyone you know.” The flashing lights are attractive at first, but will inevitably blind you. Closing with a soulful saxophone solo, a final robotic voice announces that the album is “complete.”
iDKHOW cares more about content than image. Rather than banking on name recognition, Weekes and Seaman cultivated a loyal fanbase all on their own. There’s no desire to see their names in flashing lights. All they need is a creative outlet and people they love to share it with.
Jared Shuff is a junior in secondary education. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.