Paul Hartnoll of UK techno duo Orbital is teaming up with poet/stand-up performer Murray Lachlan Young for a comedic new album about coping with the COVID-19 quarantine called The Virus Diaries. Hartnoll & Young shared their new single “I Need A Haircut” in celebration of the reopening of England’s barbers and salons today, April 12.
“I Need A Haircut” is a rap-inspired song about the only thing Young says he really needs above all the other difficulties of staying at home – “a haircut from a proper hairdresser.” Young briefly acknowledges social-distancing and social views, but the song is mostly about the need for a new hairdo, even considering a mullet, a buzz cut or frosted tips. Underneath the verses, Hartnoll’s instrumental features jazz chords and a funny funky horn tone.
The music video shows Young parodying a drug deal before he asks the would-be dealer for a haircut, and is led to a hair salon that has secretly remained open in defiance of the country’s COVID-19 protocol. Young sports several different wigs and tracked-on hairstyles throughout the video as he sits in the barber’s shop.
It’s the second single from The Virus Diaries after “I’m Going Shopping,” a similarly light-hearted song about trying to avoid standing too close to people while at the grocery store. The album is due in full on June 25th and is being advertised as “A shiny souvenir from the metaphorical gift shop of a deeply shitty year.”
Young comments, “It was glaringly obvious to anyone, the last thing anyone needed was serious art. It doesn’t patronize, prescribe or instruct. It just tries to tell it like it was at the time. The thing that went missing in lockdown #1 was fun and any sort of laughs. Everyone shut up shop and that is where we stepped into the void.”
“This album will improve with age,” Hartnoll predicts. “You may not want to be reminded of the whole coronavirus world we now inhabit at the moment. But I suspect, in time, these observations will be the memory jog of the things that history will leave behind and you will be left asking ‘what the fuck happened there?’”
The Virus Diaries Tracklist:
2. Working From Home
3. Baking & Jogging
4. I’m Meditating
5. I’m Going Shopping
7. Bedtime Again
8. Coffeeshop Coffee
9. I’ve got a Delivery Coming
10. Garden Centre (Push The Trolly)
12. I Need A Haircut
13. I’ve Been a Little Bit Up and Down
14. Are We Nearly There Yet
15. Secret Hairdresser