Love as a fatal force (“Killing Me Softly With His Song”), an intoxicating agent (“Drunk in Love”), a numbing drug (“Novacane”) has all been done before. No one needs a song to be reminded that entrusting your heart to another is both a source of comfort and fear, that Cupid’s arrow, once taken out, can leave scars. Or, in Sycco’s (née Sasha McLeod) case, a compromised immune system for the heart.
Out of all tropes she could’ve written about as a cop-out, McLeod abandons them entirely, opting for an on-the-nose wink of Love in the Time of a Pandemic where the disease isn’t just a crippling respiratory virus, but the gradual accumulation of mistrust: a pathogen that starts off small (“Recycling your words,” “I’ve noticed you’re behaving strangely”) and ends up wreaking havoc on a relationship. Mirages of recovery break up the background of dissonant pangs, temporary respite found in a blanket of violins, but the Germs eventually spread into a cycle of sleepless nights and perpetual cleansing. As far as chronic distrust and diseases go, keep an eye out; wear a mask! Just one problem: There’s no PPE to guard you from pop as infectious as this.