Today, John Splithoff makes his 2021 debut with “Fahrenheit,” a simmering, silky smooth pop song about staying self-aware while chasing an elusive buzz.
“I can’t stand the way / I feel before 6pm / but my problems slip away / when sippin’ on the tonic and gin,” the New York City singer-songwriter croons in the opening verse of the track, premiering below. “Tonight I’m diving in / no matter how far I fall / just me, myself and I / and anybody else I call.”
For most of the song, Splithoff wades further into that blurry, blissed-out state: “So I pour up / then I slow down / you know I love to hear the music when it’s too loud,” he sings in the pre-chorus. “I shut my mind off / my head’s a ghost town / then I pour another, then I pour another like…”
Finally, the chorus finds the Chicago native “burning through the roof” and “feeling feather light again.” His vocals are backed by buoyant guitar, dreamy synths, and lush beats. But who am I kidding—even Splithoff knows that it’s his vocal performance, by turns soaring and sensual, that drives the track forward.
“‘Fahrenheit’ is about the constant desire to fill a void while being self-aware throughout the process,” Splithoff tells American Songwriter in a statement. “I wrote the song about the patterns in behavior when searching for a sense of euphoria, no matter the vice. The lyrics are matter-of-fact but almost lighthearted in their delivery. The narrative of this song is about metaphorically taking your own temperature and coming to terms with living an unpredictable lifestyle.”
Splithoff wrote and produced the song with Alex Mendoza—best known for his work on SHAED’s 2018 hit “Trampoline”—in the fall of 2019. It will appear on Splithoff’s yet-to-be-announced debut album, expected later this spring.
“Fahrenheit” also arrives with a video directed by Norris Guncheon and Christopher Fox. In the flick, featured below, Splithoff tries to keep his cool while delivering a dazed, in-studio performance of the song.
“Producing my new record last year took my mind off the stress of not being able to tour or collaborate,” says Splithoff. “Shooting the music video also gave me some much needed inspiration, considering it had been so long since I worked with anybody in person. It was an amazing feeling to focus on a collaborative, albeit small and masked, group effort after spending so much time on the music in quarantine.”
“Fahrenheit” is out now.
Photo by Matt Oliver