Monday, March 25, 2013

Please Don't Ruin "Little Talks" for Me

Way back in 2010, I heard the great song called "Home," which was performed by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes. Perhaps you've heard it because you own a TV and have ears.

Featuring as much talking as singing, this song reminded me of a modern Lee Hazlewood-Nancy Sinatra duet, and at the time, I thought I'd love it forever. But then the last three years happened, and now I will literally never again think, "Hey, you know, I could really go for listening to 'Home' right now," because I reached the point where I'd heard it too many times, and then I heard it another hundred more times. Even worse, Hollywood realized that "Home" worked as a shorthand for a certain folksy sort of affection, and then every TV show ever, even ones I liked, used it to underscore the moment when characters realize that home ISN'T A BUILDING AT ALL! IT'S WHERE YOU ARE! KISSKISSKISSKISS AND…. FADE OUT. Now, basically, the only use of "Home" I'd be okay with is over a montage of evicted families stranding outside their foreclosed homes, because only then would the rest of the world know the antipathy I feel toward it.

Last year, my friend Stephanie introduced me to a rousing little tune called "Little Talks," by the Icelandic group Of Monsters and Men. It's upbeat but rather grim lyrically, since it's about a lonely, empty house and maybe ghosts. The video looks like a game I'd really like to play and features neither empty houses nor ghosts but instead monsters and men because maybe the director thought the song name was the band name and vice-versa? Here, watch:

Appealing but weird video notwithstanding, I was happy to have "Little Talks" be my little indie rock pet that was weird and maybe most people liked but didn't know too much about. But then it got used in all the ads for that new Tina Fey movie that you probably aren't rushing to see and I realized that "Little Talks," similar to "Home," works as a shorthand for a "journey where you feel lots of emotions and then learn something about yourself and maybe you end up spinning in a field while laugh-crying." Yep, I'm suddenly worried that it will soon also be in every show or movie where the writing can't quite nail the moment.

Please, people who put songs in commercials or TV shows or whatever, can you just lay off this one? Because I would really rather continue enjoying this song, instead of instinctively skipping it and then wondering why I can't remember to remove it from my iTunes playlists. Don't Gotye this for me, world. Case in point: Remember when you weren't sure how to pronounce "Gotye"? Then that one song got overplayed and that pronunciation problem solved itself. Find something more top 40 and make that your next "Hey Soul Sister," your next song by Smash Mouth whose name I can't think of, your Black Eyed Peas song that was apparently written with the sole purpose of being used in commercials. Please.

(And if you're an Of Monsters and Men member and you're reading this, I'm really sorry. I know you want money, but trust me: Artistic credibility is so much better. Really.)

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