Toronto’s PUP released the massive Morbid Stuff last year to critical acclaim, earning countless year-end nods, their late-night debut on Late Night With Seth Meyers, and a largely sold-out world tour that had them on the road for a solid 9 months. They returned a few weeks ago with ‘Anaphylaxis,’ their first new material of 2020, and now they have created their first quarantine-induced performance for the single.
Says lead singer Stefan Babcock about the video: “During our quarantine, I couldn’t go to our jam space. I also live in a small apartment and my neighbours understandably get very annoyed and/or concerned about my mental state when they hear me yelling my head off about getting stung by bees or killing my bandmates or whatever garbage these dumb songs are about. So I started making demos and recording in my car in a parking lot across the street from my house. Every few minutes, cops would slowly drive past to see what the unhinged kid in the busted up Ford Escape was doing. But I’m white, so lucky me, my biggest worry was that they’d judge my precious lyrics. White privilege is real. Defund the police.”
Additionally, PUP have put Morbid Stuff-themed masks up for sale now, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Trans Toolkits Collective, supporting trans, two-spirit, and non-binary people in Toronto dealing with gender dysphoria and being hit especially hard by COVID-19 by delivering personalised toolkits of gender essential items.
Formed in Toronto five years ago, PUP, comprised of Stefan Babcock, Nestor Chumak, Zack Mykula, and Steve Sladkowski, quickly became favourites of the punk scene with their first two, critically-beloved albums, winning accolades everywhere from the New York Times to Pitchfork, from NPR and Rolling Stone, and more. Now, with Morbid Stuff, PUP have grown up and doubled down on everything that made you love their first two records. It’s gang’s-all-here vocals, guitarmonies, and lyrics about death. Lots of them.
Fitting to their ethos, their new album takes the dichotomy of fun and emotional wreckage in their songs and teeters between gleeful chaos and bleak oblivion while wielding some of the best choruses the band has ever written. Morbid Stuff is also a pretty intense foray into singer Stefan Babcock’s fight with depression, and shows, in perfect PUP fashion, how taking responsibility of his own depression lead him to….laughter. Admitting his depression allowed Babcock to laugh in its face, and the result is that marriage of darkness and joy that made PUP who they are, but in a brand new way.