Latin Grammys 2018

Pusher & Anjulie Address Gun Violence With Pixel-Pop on 'All We Can Do': Exclusive

Kim Lee
Pusher

There have been 174 mass shootings in the United States in 2018 so far, according to data collected by the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive. There have only been 191 days, which means nine days out of 10, there's been a mass shooting in this country alone. You've likely heard about some, but can you possibly have heard of them all, and if you have, can you really understand the reality of all those lives lost and forever changed?

Mass shootings have become so commonplace, even the most empathetic around us feels dazed into a new sense of normal. Artists, too, feel this strange new baseline -- even Pusher, who makes self-proclaimed "shiny colourful music" in neighboring Canada. He and his fellow Canadian singer-songwriter Anjulie were so moved by recent events, they set out to shock our dulled systems with a dose of sonic irony.

"'All We Can Do' is a pop song about mass shootings," Pusher says in an emailed statement. "The heavy lyrics are paired with a simple, innocent sounding instrumental meant to disguise the true meaning of the song so that on first listen it sounds harmless. This mirrors the sad reality that mass shootings are becoming so everyday that people hardly notice them anymore. The hook 'all we can do is dance' reflects the lack of real-world steps taken so far to end this violent trend."

It was Anjulie who first conceived of the upbeat tune, a direct response to the infamous shooting in Las Vegas in late 2017 that killed 58 people and injured another 851.

“I wrote 'All We Can Do' ... about the complacency around gun violence," Anjulie says, "and the culture shock I had being a Canadian in America and seeing how commonplace it has become over the years. The song is a satirical play on how ignorance is bliss."

"All We Can Do" is the second single from Pusher's forthcoming Paperman EP, Pusher's first release since 2016's cute and bouncy future bass EP New Laces. He debuted the new project with lead single "Sober" feat. Soren Bryce.

“The Paperman EP is all about growth," Pusher is quoted in a press release, "a new look, new music, new themes, new sounds, and the same old shiny, colourful, pixelated Pusher."

The Paperman EP is scheduled for full release Oct. 19 on Lowly. "All We Can Do" is out Friday, but you can listen to it below, exclusively on Billboard Dance.