I find it quite strange that the world made figuratively smaller by technology now exists in a period where we are now literally confined in our own, tiny spaces on earth, liable to connect but stripped of contact.

This sense of daring in the midst of, or because of, sentimental isolation is the premise of The Relax’s debut single, “Hey I,” a song that relays unfettered desire through dance. One of my favorite writers, Zadie Smith, wrote in an essay, “Writing, like dancing, is one of the arts available to people who have nothing… The only absolutely necessary equipment in dance is your own body.” This has always given me comfort: in both writing and dancing I have parlayed from nothing and from loneliness.

When The Relax’s Andrew Panopio announced last month that he was releasing “Hey I” on April 4th, it was under drastically different circumstances, one where the song was, I suppose, meant to be experienced with company. But there is a tinge of aloneness to it that conveys the desire to fill one’s absence with far more than physical companionship. 

When he sings, “I know how you are / And I know how you feel / Can I be where you are / Maybe feel what you feel,” does the distance truly matter? Aren’t we dancing under the same moon?

Stream Hey I