Coming up on the one year anniversary of the Covid-19 lockdown, I’m sure we can all relate to the feeling of wanting to return to normalcy. Even though things are finally starting to look up, the world is still largely changed as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Many have been isolating for extended periods of time, avoiding human contact at all costs. Of course, while this is the responsible path to take, it isn’t the easiest. At some point in the quarantining timeline, everyone hits their wall of just wanting to simply go outside and see their friends again. That’s why this song, “Go Outside,” by Ratboys is so perfectly fitting for the current times we are still living in.
After a short count-in using a muted acoustic guitar, the song jumps into action with a country twang. Incorporating basically every feature you could think of when it comes to that iconic country sound, the song holds tight to its roots throughout the entirety of the track. As an acoustic guitar strums along, a slide guitar provides lead parts to add flair and keep the track moving forward without ever growing old. Singer Julia Steiner’s Southern-sounding voice fits perfect on top of the instrumentation with a melody which swings up and down, pulling the listener along.
As I touched upon in the introduction of this review, the lyrical content of this song is largely straight forward. Seeing how we are all living through the same situation in the world right now, it is something that is instantly relatable to most people. That being said, there are instances of lyrics which I believe should be taken more metaphorically. Lines such as, “I wanna walk down my main street / I wanna listen for the birds,” represent a more general longing for normalcy as opposed to literally walking down the street and listening to birds. Of course, this could also be referencing how easy it is to get lost in your head during isolation, with some forgetting that we are still allowed to go outside and enjoy nature even while we are being responsible and isolating.
All in all, by combining a simple yet interesting backing instrumentation with the relatable lyrics of this track, Ratboys has successfully crafted a song which is sure to be remembered. Even though much of the lyrics and the main concept of the song can be taken literally, I do believe there is more underneath the surface when it comes to interpreting these lyrics. While we can all continue longing to “Go Outside,” it is important to remember that we can still enjoy what we have by taking a moment and breathing in some fresh air. Although we have been stuck in this situation for a year now, it is helpful to remember that we are in a far better situation today than we were last March. For that, we should be grateful as we continue pushing on through every day.