Behind the Music of the Indie Hipster “Single Ladies”

This should’ve been expected: Beyoncé and Jay-Z get seen at a Grizzly Bear show and supposedly hang out on the DL in Williamsburg all the time. So when were hipsters going dive head-first into the culture of Beyoncé and Jay-Z? With this video of two very white people doing a very white cover of “All The Single Ladies.” Can we discuss?

If you spend too much time on the internet, you’re probably already seen this. But, okay, fine: you’re not the only one. The ever-indispensable satirist of our time, Hipster Runoff, has seen it:

Kinda wanna throw down a bedroom studio jam and make a yewtube video 4 it. Sorta wish I could be reborn as a girl so that I could have the opportunity to express myself with music. I think I would start by taking piano lessons at a young age, then possibly learn the guitar. I would try my best to have a ‘good voice’, but eventually I would want more than a ‘good voice’ — I would want to have a humble, approachable voice that could fill up coffee shops and let the world know that I am a female artist worth taking seriously.

And on the other end of the spectrum, Ashton Kutcher:


Who are they? What else are they doing? What do they want from R & B? This is a dangerous rabbit hole to go down, so bear with me: this video is from a project from a girlfriend-boyfriend couple who go by the name of Pomplamoose. They’ve done a bunch of covers, and also have solo projects. Her name’s Nataly Dawn, and here’s a video of her singing in French. Aside from all the requisite Indie-gurrl staples (Cropped hair! A video blog! Talking to her cat! Talking about having a cold!), it’s quite nice.

Nataly’s mans with the extreme white-guy-slapping-bass-face is this Jack Conte fellow. It’s not exactly my dig, but it’s not bad. The question about these two and their video, though: is it a hit because it’s a twee cover of “Single Ladies”? Or is it a hit because they’re showing the broken down process of recording the cover instrument by instrument?

Well, whatever, they’re still doing it with a cover of “September,” featuring a hand-puppet attached to a kick-drum. I enjoyed this one more than the “Single Ladies” video because I’m the only person on the planet that doesn’t like that song. I have my reasons.

Conte should spend more time on the piano, they should write songs that don’t revolve around videos, and they should throw some blips in there for good measure. If they take the twee down from 14 to, like, 7, even 7.5, and stop reinforcing hipster stereotypes worse than an Urban Outfitters catalog, we could be seeing the beginning of a little pop force emerge. Matt and Kim, watch your back.

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