Friday, April 18, 2014

On Repeat: "La La La"

Heard this gem on the radio during my drive home yesterday and I was so captivated by it! I haven't heard anything like it in a long time, if ever. Oddly enough though, it felt really familiar as if I'd heard it many times before. The song's style and lyrical content are not what you'd typically hear from American artists, so I wasn't surprised to learn that it's European. "La La La" is by a relatively new British producer called Naughty Boy, with vocals by English singer named Sam Smith. What impresses me so much about this song is that while EDM, it's also soulful, and the lyrics are surprisingly profound! I can listen to it without wanting to bang my head against a wall (sorrynotsorry to any EDM fans reading this). The lyrics speak of needing to drown out the toxic words of a controlling partner who thinks they know everything and can never seem to shut up:

I'm covering my ears like a kid
When your words mean nothing, I go la la la
I'm turning up the volume when you speak
'Cause if my heart can't stop it,
I find a way to block it, I go
La la, la la la la la na na na na na

When I checked out the music video I was shocked to find that it came out in April 2013. I'm hopping on the train an entire year late! Directed by Ian Pons Jewell and shot in Bolivia, the music video is colorful yet weird and confusing in a highly effective way, blending the Wizard of Oz and the legend of El Tio and adding a modern twist. I say highly effective because it seems to have increased many people's cultural literacy in a way. "La La La" currently has over 286 million views on YouTube, and many viewers have been looking up information on what its meaning is supposed to be. And now, millions of people are vaguely aware of El Tio/Bolivian myths who hadn't given a thought to it before (myself included). The song and video are practically perfect. Job well done to Naughty Boy, Sam Smith, and Ian Pons Jewell!

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