PUP, some of Toronto’s finest purveyors of hooky, fired-up punk rock, are coming back. They put out one of the best albums of 2016 in The Dream Is Over, and they’re about to follow it up with another called Morbid Stuff. We’ve already heard lead single “Kids” and watched its characteristically great music video, and now they’ve given us a second taste.
“Free At Last” is another hard-charging blast of melodic pop-punk from a band that’s already perfected the form. And on the catchy and deceptively uplifting chorus, Stefan Babcock combines depression, self-loathing, and some cold hard truth: “Just ’cause you’re sad again, it doesn’t make you special at all.”
The song features one line of vocals from Charly Bliss’ Eva Hendricks, who also appears in the instructional music video alongside another friend of the band, Stranger Things star/young Stefan Babcock/Calpurnia singer Finn Wolfhard. Quoth Babcock:
The video for “Free At Last” started off as a very, very stupid concept. Before the song was released, we put out the lyrics and a basic chord chart and asked people to record their own versions without hearing the original first. It was a bit of a social experiment. We expected to receive 15 or 20 covers. We received 253. A lot of them were very… interesting… but most of them were actually really good. We listened to every single one front to back (13 hours and 34 minutes), and by the end our brains were puddles of sludge and we couldn’t remember how our own version sounded.
We received hip hop versions, ska versions, grindcore, EDM, Mariachi, Ukulele, Polka, and piano ballad versions. Incredibly enough, none of the 253 covers sounded like ours. And even more astounding, no two of the covers sounded the same either. The amount of creativity and love put into these things absolutely blew us away.
Watch and listen below; the song itself begins at 1:28. You can listen to the 253 covers here.
Morbid Stuff is out 4/5 via Little Dipper/Rise. Pre-order it here.