The East End’s next hit song has arrived, and it couldn’t be timelier. Written by East Quogue’s Harry Spero, owner of Manhattan-based advertising agency Spero Media, and performed by Social Distancers, comprising Spero and East Hampton musician Noah Chenfeld, “Is It Corona Good?” begs the question we’ve all been pondering since the pandemic began.
Normally splitting his time between his homes in East Quogue and NYC, the pandemic convinced Spero and his family to stay in the Hamptons full-time, resulting in a wave of songwriting inspiration. Two weeks into quarantine he and his wife spent a rainy day watching Tiger King, and the question arose of whether or not they’d be watching the show under normal circumstances, to which Spero remarked, “I think this show is corona good.” Later that day, they were out for a walk and bumped into some new friends made during the pandemic and Spero had the same thought again. When his daughter, Harper, served a vegetarian dinner that night, he realized that he had lost 11 pounds on her cooking since sheltering in place. He asked himself a third time, “Is this good or just corona good?” and knew he was onto something.
Spero then rushed to his music room, picked up his guitar and wrote the song, using his three epiphanies as the lyrics for the first three verses. For the final verse, he cheekily mused whether or not the song itself was just corona good. “I don’t really write from personal experience… [but] this was something where everything that happened in the song was absolutely literal,” Spero explains, pointing out the rarity of the inspiration for the track. “Really what it’s about is so much broader than what we’re singing about. It’s a judgement call of what we’re going through right now. Are we compromised during this period of time? I think so.”
“Is It Corona Good?” was a huge hit among family and friends, so Spero sent it to Chenfeld, the son of one of his longtime friends, who was eager to record it. The duo, going by the band name Social Distancers, then finalized the arrangement, recorded the track and released their debut single on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify, with an accompanying music video on YouTube that has been viewed over 10,700 times at the time of writing. “I’ve never gotten 10,000 responses to anything I’ve done! I’ve recorded six albums and written over 1,000 songs and nothing has gotten this kind of response before, and it continues to get a response,” Spero says. “It’s just exploded out of nowhere!”
The video, largely filmed in East Hampton by Felicia Bernard, features comedic retellings of Spero’s pandemic epiphanies, a Zoom conference chorus, masked dancers outside Red Horse Market and trumpet accompaniment by Cleveland-based musician player Carl Wallingford. The video was edited by Louis Sansano.
Social Distancers is currently working on two new songs—the “Pandemic Pivot,” which Spero predicts will be the latest dance craze to hit the quarantine market and “Wearing the Same Shirt that I Slept in Last Night” about a couple who met and fell in love the day before the quarantine hit.
Having worked as a professional songwriter for about five years early in his career, Spero says that short period of time has “stuck with me my whole life,” noting that none of the songs he ever wrote for commercials and sports themes required any changes from the client. Then Spero Media saw a huge boom in business, and he no longer had the time to pitch himself as a songwriter, but he would continue to write music with his bands Loaded and Harry Spero and His Fabulous Friends. “I could write a song about anything at any time,” he says of his gift. “There are a bunch of songs that I’m really proud of because I said something that had never been said before.”
Check out the “Is It Corona Good?” music video below and visit isitcoronagood.com to learn more about the song and Social Distancers.