BY LYDIA RIVERS
A severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction, “Anaphylaxis” is an exhilarating whirlwind of a song all about a hypochondriac getting stung by a bee. The first track put out by Canadian punk band PUP since the release of their last album Morbid Stuff, it channels the panicky high-energy of thinking you might die into an amusing banger.
The song is all about those moments of genuine fear and laughing about them in retrospect. Alongside the incredible guitar riffs meant to sound like bees, the stream-of-consciousness lyrics keep building and building,“My face started to swell / My heart started to pound / And I started freaking out,” analogous to an anxiety fueled spiral into paranoia. The upbeat track handles hysteria in good humor, and is kinda perfect for listening to in the midst of a pandemic.
Lead singer Stefan Babcock revealed that the song was inspired by an accident during a family outing in a press-release:
“I got the idea for the song when I was at my partner’s cottage and her cousin got stung by a bee and his whole head started to swell up. His wife, although she was concerned, also thought it was pretty hilarious and started making fun of him even as they were headed to the hospital. He ended up being totally fine, but it was just funny to watch him freaking out and her just lighting him up at the same time. It reminded me of all the times I’ve started panicking for whatever reason and was convinced I was dying and the world was ending and no one would take me seriously. In retrospect, I always find those overreactions pretty funny. So we wrote a goofy song about being a hypochondriac and tried to make our guitars sound like bees at the beginning of it.”
The accompanying music video is just as good, featuring stop-motion animation by videographer Callum Scott-Dyson. Stream “Anaphylaxis” and watch as a beehive is unfortunately mistaken for a piñatas: