Chicago band Ratboys’ latest single might sound like a Covid-inspired anthem, but that’s just a fortunate (or unfortunate) coincidence.
The band’s newest endeavor “Go Outside” follows the release of their 2020 album Printer’s Devil. Before the band could start the tour in support of their third LP, the pandemic hit, forcing them to cancel all their dates. While “Go Outside” applies perfectly to the universal experience of a yearlong shutdown with lyrics like “I wanna be eloquent / I wanna take all my best friends / And show ‘em where I live,” the song was written a year before the pandemic started. “Go Outside” also marks a change of form in the band’s sound, leaning into the country influences that previously only peeked through their predominantly indie-rock sound.
Singer-songwriter Julia Steiner explained the song’s inspirations in a statement:
We wrote this song on a whim when we were home in between tours in April 2019. It’s this carefree and wistful, totally innocent song about wanting to travel and spend time with loved ones. We didn’t realize that we wouldn’t be able to do either of those things before long.
Watch the lyric video for “Go Outside” below. Keep scrolling to revisit Ratboys’ 2015 Daytrotter session.