Ben Folds attempts to capture this nonstop moment in history on his new piano ballad “2020.”
“We seem to be currently reliving and cramming a number of historically tumultuous years into one,” Folds said of the new single in a statement. “For a moment it was all about the 1918 pandemic. Then we began seeing hints of the Great Depression before flipping the calendar forward to the Civil Rights protests of the Sixties. Running beneath this is the feeling that we’re in the Cold War, while seeing elements that brought us to the Civil War rearing their head, making us wonder if we’ve learned a damn thing at all.”
As Folds sings on the track: “Don’t it seem like decades ago/Back in 2019/Back when life was slow/Now it’s June/We’re just halfway done/2020, hey are we having fun?/How many years will we try to cram into one?”
Folds recorded “2020” in his apartment in Sydney, Australia, where the singer has been stationed since the pandemic broke out; Folds was in the midst of an Australian tour when COVID-19 reached that continent, forcing him to remain there as travel back to the U.S. wasn’t possible. Folds has since decided to remain in Sydney indefinitely.
“Here’s to hoping for some stability in 2021, and to eventually looking back and understanding that it took this year, uncomfortable as it has been, to get us to a better place. Until then, hold on to our hats,” Folds said.