When time became lost during the global pandemic, two artists conceived a hauntingly resonant tune, “What Happened To The Weekend.” Born from the chaos of a post-pandemic reality, the track takes listeners on an ethereal journey of time disorientation, dreamlike confusion, and an uncanny sense of déjà vu. An entirely remote creation between artists Joel Sammut and Dakota Blue and unveiled on Friday, June 9th, this track forms a soundscape that mirrors the eerie and disorienting strangeness of our post-pandemic world.
Joel, hailing from Sydney and presently operating from the creative hub of Byron Bay, is a maestro whose compositions are a unique cocktail of pop, rock, and electronic elements. His sonic expressions are marked by emotional brevity and intense resonance, epitomized in tracks such as “Bleeding Man” and “Home Ghost,” both released in 2021. Tapping into a diverse array of influences, his latest April 2023 single, “Trouble,” drew from the wellspring of experimental artists like Tame Impala, David Bowie, and Cocorosie, signaling his evolution as an artist.
In “What Happened To The Weekend,” Joel’s dynamic craft couples with Dakota’s somber lyricism. Dakota describes the track as “a strange dream you’re trying to wake from.” The ballad emanates an out-of-body experience of temporal disorientation, of being thrust abruptly back into the world. The lyrics succinctly echo this sentiment: “Running out of time, every single day, I didn’t see the signs, I looked the other way…” It’s a peculiarly relatable dissonance, the warp of time in a world recovering from a standstill. Yet among feelings of alienation, Joel and Dakota’s music stands as a beacon of resilience, an auditory sanctuary for listeners grappling with the echoes of a history that remains present.
Working remotely from their bedrooms, the duo harmoniously blended their respective musical styles. Once Dakota laid down vocals, synths, and guitars, Joel added another dimension to the track. He layered percussion, linked the dark vibe, and built the sections between. The track went back and forth three times, each exchange adding depth and nuance to the final masterpiece. A process far removed from solo production, yet one that they relished, despite never having met outside the realm of Instagram. Indeed, their process reflects the beauty of modern-age technology, enabling the two artists to synergize their creativity without ever sharing physical space.
This collaboration, much like their individual styles, is a paradox of sorts. It’s a rock-focused track infused with a mysterious, other-worldly vibe borne out of a seamless blend of electronic elements, experimental guitar sounds, and layers of synths. This unique sound has led to its description as “if Rowland S. Howard and Joy Division had a love child.”
Their journey, one of creating an audible testament to post-pandemic time distortion, has only just begun. Joel Sammut and Dakota Blue, the DIY bedroom producers, are already working on future collaborations. If “What Happened To The Weekend” is any indicator, fans can anticipate an array of emotion-laden tracks that challenge the status quo and continue the exploration of the new world order. They might even help us answer the track’s haunting question: “Can we beat the system and escape the matrix?” In the meantime, their eerie ballad continues to unravel the enigma of post-pandemic time.