The Chainsmokers’ New Single ‘Sick Boy’ Confronts The ‘Narcissism’ Of America

The Chainsmokers raised some eyebrows in recent months for inappropriate jokes and allegations of cheating, but now it looks like the duo is ready to begin 2018 in a more mature way, as they’re showing on their socially charged new single, “Sick Boy.”

Press materials describe it as “a song about self-identity in today’s world and standing tall in the face of what you can and can’t control,” and the pop ballad addresses the self-centered nature of our country, with lyrics like, “Feed yourself with my life’s work / How many likes is my life worth,” and a chorus that goes after people only caring about themselves:

“And don’t believe the narcissism
When everyone projects
And expects you to listen to ’em
Make no mistake, I live in a prison
That I build myself, it is my religion
And they say that I am the sick boy
Easy to say, when you don’t take the risk, boy
Welcome to the narcissism
We’re united under our indifference.”

Lyrically, the song is an obvious pivot from their past hits, like “Closer” (with words like, “Pull the sheets right off the corner / Of the mattress that you stole / From your roommate back in Boulder / We ain’t ever getting older”) and “Selfie” (“After we go to the bathroom, can we go smoke a cigarette? / I really need one / But first / Let me take a selfie”). Musically, it strays further away from their EDM roots and more towards the successful pop sound they’ve developed for themselves, albeit with a more aggressive edge this time around.

There’s no word yet on if the track is off an upcoming sophomore album (which would follow up 2017’s Memories…Do Not Open,) but in the meantime, listen to “Sick Boy” above