OK Go has been quiet the past few years, but in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve reemerged. They bring hope and new music with them. Their new song “All Together Now” was inspired by the pandemic, and all proceeds for the song will be donated to the global health organization Partners In Health. OK Go frontman Damian Kulash was among the first people in America to have Coronavirus; luckily, he and his wife – and their two-year-old twins – have made a full recovery. Recorded by the band members, separately at their own homes, “All Together Now” is a tender yet powerful new song. It also comes with an accompanying music video, directed by Damian and edited by Geoff Shelton.
“All Together Now” starts with Damian singing a cappella, then quickly grows into a choir voices. Gentle guitar, tambourine, and handclaps come in next, forming a base for the rest of the song. At times it feels like a lullaby, at others like an empowering rally cry. Unexpected elements – like a child’s piano – somehow fit the song perfectly. Despite its difficult inspiration, “All Together Now” isn’t slow and dreary. Instead, it offers hope and strength.
In typical OK Go fashion, the music video for “All Together Now” is innovative and impressive. No small feat, considering it was recording during this pandemic! It starts simply enough: Each of the band members appears playing their instrument, clapping, and/or singing. But each member plays multiple roles in this song, and each part has footage that stays onscreen throughout the video. The different parts move around the screen, becoming almost kaleidoscopic as they do. Despite fairly straightforward footage, it turns into a stunning music video for these times. The final cherry on top is how it ends. The four members of OK Go always go the extra mile with their videos, and it shows.
Watch the music video for “All Together Now” below:
Learn more about “All Together Now,” download it, and donate here. All proceeds will go to Partners In Health to aid people affected by COVID-19.
OK Go’s last album, Hungry Ghosts, came out in fall 2014. It featured five singles, each with a spectacular music video: “The Writing’s On The Wall,” “I Won’t Let You Down,” “Upside Down & Inside Out,” “The One Moment,” and “Obsession.”
The band released a few songs since then, including a cover of Morrissey’s “Interesting Drug” three years ago.
“All Together Now” is our first new song from the band in quite a while, and hopefully there’s more where that came from. OK Go has been writing and recording for a new album for the past few years. They aim to release it sometime in 2020.
Enjoy the new song and music video, and keep checking back here for all the latest OK Go music news.
Letter from Damian:
“All Together Now” came with a letter written by frontman Damian Kulash. Here is what he shared:
I caught the coronavirus early, when there were only six known cases in California, all of them hundreds of miles from L.A., where I live. My symptoms lasted forever, but were only genuinely scary for a day and a half. My wife Kristin’s battle was tougher, though. She was only briefly at the hospital, but bedridden with breathing problems for a long stretch. As she convalesced, I struggled to keep up with our two-year-old twins, and there were times when her breathing was so labored I worried she just wouldn’t wake up.
We’re extremely lucky. She made a full recovery, and though the kids did have symptoms, they never got much worse than a nasty cold. My heart aches for those who haven’t had the same luck, who are suffering unimaginable loss and hardship, whether from the virus or the havoc it’s wrought on the world.
For all of us, the future has gotten scarier and more unknowable, and it’s bearing down on us faster. But for me, as this new strain of anxiety has spread, it’s brought an incongruous companion: a new breed of hope. It’s subtle and diffuse, but in the moments when the anxiety lets up, it’s there, hovering in the periphery of my consciousness.
At first I thought maybe it was a psychological defense; with Kristin teetering on the edge of the unthinkable, my brain was throwing me life rafts. Then as she and the kids got better, the hope felt like an offshoot of my personal relief. Then I read an essay by historian Rebecca Solnit, The Impossible Has Already Happened: What the Coronavirus Can Teach Us About Hope, and she put words to the thing I was struggling to identify.
When the status quo evaporates, anything is possible, for better or for worse. Crises are when we learn who we are. Without our frame of reference, we reinvent ourselves. Our best and worst impulses struggle against each other anew, and while our darkest fears become more real, so do our wildest hopes. “Change is not only possible, we are swept away by it.”
Solnit makes the case that this is as true for our society as it is for ourselves: Governments have made changes which were unfathomable only a few months ago. Ireland nationalized its hospitals. Canada and Germany have figured out forms of basic income. Thousands of non-violent inmates have been released from the US’s broken prison system.
My neighborhood, like many around the world, raises a cheer for frontline workers every evening. The ritual is more than just a show of gratitude, it’s a vehicle for the kind of hope Solnit writes of, the subtle feeling I was trying to pin down. We’re telling each other we believe in one another. We’re reassuring ourselves that human goodness is rugged, that our capacity to care for each other is less fragile than our individual bodies, that we can choose compassion for others over the comfort of our routines.
Inspired by this cheering, my bandmates and I, working separately in our homes, wrote and recorded a new song, “All Together Now.” We borrowed a lovely metaphor from Rebecca Solnit’s essay: society is, for a moment, liquid in the chrysalis.
The idea that some good may come from this time of overwhelming tragedy is a light in the dark right now. We’re not delusional; we don’t think optimism or compassion alone will get us through this tragic pandemic, nor do we think the better angels of our nature are predestined to be victorious. But as we wrestle with anxiety, every drop of hope is precious. We want to nurture it and share it.