Duncecap is not for the faint of feeling. His latest release, the visuals for “I Love You, Don’t Die” off of Human Error, is a bought of bare-knuckled boxing between Dunce and his demons. The production comes from frequent collaborator Samurai Banana and finds him interlacing morose percussion with an eccentric accordion sample. The metaphor-drenched battle Dunce undergoes is one of affection. It is not a simple love song however, but instead one portraying the struggle to balance self-care, romantic love, and artistic expression. With all these relationships at play, the intended implications of any one line become murky, perhaps intentionally.
“Now I’m accustomed to the what if what if statements
To the fact that fear’s the only thing I embrace and relate with
Fiction – scarier than reality actually
Every single logic I got concludes irrationally”
Here, I see Dunce at war with himself, expressing displeasure in his inability to live in the moment, forever plagued by insidious anxiety and its capacity to drive a man mad with apocalyptic visions of tomorrow. But such a broad understanding can applies to his romantic love as well, perhaps he has fear-inspiring fantasies about what his lover is really doing when she is out with her friends. Similarly, this anxiety center may attempt to convince him over and over again that his attempts at creative excellence are futile, that he has been doomed from the start.
Pleasingly, we get a glimmer of hope from Dunce as his rational mind ever so briefly chimes in to remind him that some of our world’s most influential thinkers were “crazy” too:
“Maybe maybe, its a gift to be crazy
Learn to love myself and every doubt that is waiting”
Further insight into how intertwined these various affections are comes from the following lines, which, depending on your interpretation, could be understood in a two ways:
“Love me like I love you
Can’t believe you could be patient with such a fucking dumb dude
Hey Mike you could delete your files or hold my hand”
On my first read, I understood this as a plea from Dunce to his lover, one aimed at convincing her to reciprocate his love in full. We then get the address to Dunce (Mike) from his lover that encourages him to continue making his art, for if he deletes his files he forgoes the option of holding her hand. In another reading, however, this could be an address to Mike from Dunce. Dunce offers Mike the option of abandoning his music and walking away or accepting his artistic persona’s existence wholeheartedly. Then, the first two lines become a plea from Dunce to Mike rather than one from a lover to Mike. Because of the intentional ambiguity, this track is what you make of it, appealing to both those struggling internally and externally.