Remember the brouhaha surrounding the end of the Mayan calendar and the ending of the world as we knew it? Various predictions surfaced from the occultist community all the way to the top channels of mass media. Cataclysmic or transformative events would occur on December 21, 2012 and astronomical alignments would initiate spiritual ascension that would mark the beginning of a new era. That was almost seven years ago, and although I didn’t notice anything tangibly different when I woke up on December 22, 2012—or any morning thereafter—the music collective 2012 Bid Adieu proposes the idea that we have in fact died, this is hell, and we oscillate in an alternate reality that they have dubbed “digital purgatory.”
“All animals from near and far who find shelter underneath the stars, who once trotted woodlands and berms, now find paths in ones and zeroes,” says the narrator of “Weird Place,” 2012 Bid Adieu’s opening track off their debut album We Died in 2012: This Is Hell. It’s a whimsical piece as a keyboard harmonica accompanies the beginning soliloquy that makes me nostalgic of the Busy Town computer game I played on the translucent, technicolored iMac’s in kindergarten. Like an eight-bit nursery rhyme, the song serves as an introduction to 2012 Bid Adieu’s imaginary world.
Vocalist and producer Jordan Clark is the star of this fantasy the collective builds upon in the music video to “Weird Place.” Donning a blonde wig, which is a character trope among older videos, Clark provides comic relief ninja running and walking a cat on a leash through a metropolitan park. Such strange behaviors amplified by Prashant Thapan’s animations create “a world aimed at laughing at the awkward and absurd realities of our lives,” Clark said over e-mail. “We are using music as a tool to restore the listeners for a moment of tranquility.”