Birmingham, AL indie rock/alt band Phantom Limb have unleashed the video for "Dumbo Returns".
The song is taken from their upcoming sophomore album 'Pastoral', which will be available on November 16 through Earth Libraries. Get it here.
As summarized by frontman Andrew Laningham, "'Dumbo Returns' is basically meant to be the sonic representation of my anxiety surrounding 2020, particularly about COVID. I wrote a version of this song about two years ago, but ended up scrapping it and never recording it. I decided to revisit this song when writing Pastoral. I redid the whole song and rewrote the lyrics to reflect my headspace of March 2020 (which was pretty disoriented and fucked up). The song ended up being about how my anxiety led to having these paranoid thinking patterns. It’s about how my anxiety led to more bizzarro anxiety, kind of replicating itself in my brain like the world’s worst Xerox machine.
I was listening to a lot of minimalist composers while I was recording Pastoral, like Steve Reich, Terry Reilly, and LaMonte Young. One of the techniques they use a lot in composition is phasing, which is basically taking two identical musical phrases, then speeding one up slightly to create these rhythmic, echo-y effects. That music really spoke to me and reflected how my anxious thoughts felt. I used that technique in the main synth line of 'Dumbo Returns' to mirror how my mind felt at the time. I also found a sample of someone singing “Am I doing enough?” that I put in the bridge of the song. I was questioning whether I was doing enough to stop my anxious thought spirals, so that sample was supposed to represent some sort of attempt to break out of paranoid thinking.
Prior to 2020, it was easy for me to look down at people who fall into paranoid thought patterns (think conspiracy theories or whatever), but after having panic attacks and an anxiety disorder, I was surprised with how quickly my mind went into a lot of dark, paranoid places. 'Dumbo Returns' is about me struggling with that, and trying to pick up the pieces after a mental break."