Review: Chromeo’s Quarantine Casanova echoes feelings of love and hope during pandemic


Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash.

by Kayla Brown, Staff Writer

With life moving from in-person interactions to online platforms because of COVID-19, the dating scene has looked quite different since last March. For one music group, it influenced their latest album.

Chromeo, a Canadian electro-funk music duo led by David “Dave 1” Macklovitch and Patrick “P-Thugg” Gemayel, have been creating music about the perils of dating for the last two decades. They released “Quarantine Casanova,” an album about love and hope during this COVID-19 pandemic, last June.

The ten song EP brings upbeat funky vibes with influence from multiple decades. The music is about feelings regarding social distancing, romance, boredom and depression throughout this pandemic. Five of the songs have lyrics, while the others are instrumental versions of the first five. 

Listening to the subtle boom of Macklovitch’s bass guitar, drums and the synth beats from Gemayel’s keyboard instantly lightens the mood in any environment. It is hard not to sway to the rhythm, even when feeling down from all of the uncertainty of this year.

In “Six Feet Away,” Macklovitch sings a classic love anthem – telling his muse that although they are apart because of quarantine, he’s still going to love her and show his appreciation while keeping his distance. The sound is reminiscent of 90’s R&B slow jams. 

“Stay in Bed (And Do Nothing)” tells listeners there is nothing wrong with being unproductive and even criticises those who promote healthy living during the pandemic. The lyrics are blatantly honest and Gemayel sings back up through a vocoder and talk-box, synthesizing his voice to sound alien-like. 

Macklovitch sings of the effects of COVID-19 on his mental health with no filter, reminding the listener that the pandemic affects everyone in similar ways.

“Roni Got me Stressed Out” is about fear surrounding the virus and the uncertainty of it. Paper towels running low, friends losing their jobs, buying a 2020 planner and throwing it away, forgetting what day it is; all continuous familiar stressors. The sounds conjure up visions of light-up dance floors and the violins in the background remind the listener of a 70’s disco hit but with a slower pace. 

In an interview with NME, Chromeo commented on the beginning stages of the EP.

“Honestly, it started as a joke,” Macklovitch said in the interview with NME. 

“As usual, it’s a high brow-low brow thing with us, these are obviously the funniest tracks we’ve ever written, but they connected in such a visceral way,” Gemayel said in the same interview with NME.

 The two artists have been best friends since high school and rose to prominence with their 2007 release “Fancy Footwork”. Since then, they have toured the world and their five LPs have essentially revived the electro-funk genre.

The proceeds from Quarantine Casanova and its merchandise are being donated to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp COVID-19 relief fund, which Chromeo says is “in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and in recognition of the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on black and POC communities.”