Long Live Daft Punk: 1993-2021


Haley Luersen

The hands of Daft Punk forming a glowing triangle, signaling the end of an era. Via Daft Punk on YouTube

     I walk to my fifth-period class, AP Spanish, with a pep in my step—we get to watch our favorite Spanish TV drama, Gran Hotel, today. The door is locked, unusual for Señora Haffey, but I assume she’s down the hall making copies. As I wait, I check my phone as any teenager would do. I notice a message from my brother. “Hmm…,” I thought to myself as I remember he only messages me when he wants something. I unlock my phone only to read the most upsetting message that not even mi programa favorito could cheer me up from:

     “Welp, Daft Punk retired…my heart is broken.”

     French electronic music duo Daft Punk announced their retirement on February 22, after 28 years in the music industry. The pair, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, have famously portrayed themselves through robot personas throughout their career, concealing their features behind robotic space helmets. On Monday morning, a video starring the robots was posted to their YouTube channel titled “Epilogue,” shocking fans. 

     The eight-minute clip features a scene from “Electroma,” the pair’s 2006 science fiction film revolving around the quest of two robots becoming human. The duo is seen walking along a barren desert until one removes his jacket, revealing a battery pack on his back. The other presses a button on the pack, starting a one-minute timer. The first member quickly walks away and explodes as Daft Punk’s 2013 track “Touch” begins to play. The video then cuts to an image of the pair’s hands forming a glowing triangle with the years 1993-2021 below. The warm glow slowly fades into a sunset or sunrise as the remaining member walks away in the distance, all while “Touch” continues to play in the background.

     “I was shocked that [Daft Punk] decided to retire,” reacted senior Liam Pergrem, a long-time fan. “But they had been together for nearly 30 years so it was inevitable.”

     From their 1994 hit single “Da Funk” to iconic collaborations with artists such as Kanye West, Pharell Williams, and The Weeknd, Daft Punk is one of the most influential and admired musical groups from the past 30 years. Their unique sound is what drew fans in from the beginning and keeps fans listening to this day.

     “I really enjoy how boundary-breaking they are,” admired Pergrem. “Their blend of multiple genres changed how electronic music fit in the entire music world.”

     Although Daft Punk had not released solo music since their 2013 album, “Random Access Memories,” fans had hoped for upcoming content throughout the eight-year hiatus.

     “Deep down I was hoping they’d release a new album in the coming years,” said senior Maggie Schroeder, a fan of the duo since 2016. “However, I assumed that they were finished with their music-making career.”

     To me, the news of these two robots retiring was heartbreaking. Words cannot describe how much their music has meant to me for so many years. I wish both Thomas and Guy nothing but good energy and positivity in the future. Their legacy will carry on for years to come, and they will never be forgotten in my heart (and ears).

     I encourage anyone reading this to take “Fragments of Time” from your day to listen to Daft Punk. You might “Get Lucky” and discover your new favorite music like so many others “Around the World.” Even if you think “Robot Rock” isn’t your thing, you may “Lose Yourself to Dance” while listening to them. I promise you, Daft Punk goes “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” than any other artist.