Halftime Leisure

Weekly List: This Might Sound Weird, But…

April 24, 2017

Here’s a collection of songs whose lyrics sound, well, weird. But a kooky title doesn’t necessarily lead to a strange song (not that that’s a bad thing, though). The lyrics tend to be unusual, the message unique, but the music itself is even more charming due to the unconventional words within it.

1. McFabulous: “I Live Above The Hobby Shop”

This song, which sounds oddly familiar to the Super Mario Bros theme song, is full of synth and auto-tune, and that’s part of what makes it so charming. McFabulous sings about taking a girl home to his apartment, which, you guessed it, is right above the hobby shop, and when he invites her to stay in the morning, she says she has to leave.

2. Lily Allen: “URL Badman” (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge version)

Best Lyrics: “I don’t like you, I think you’re worthless/I wrote a long piece about it up on my WordPress”

The regular version of this song bugs me, mostly because of the strange dub-stepped chorus. But Lily Allen’s Live Lounge rendition is soft and sweet, much better than the original. She sings of a man who still lives with his parents, spending his time blogging, hoping to write for Vice one day. He is pathetic, but online is a “URL Badman,” an internet warrior making “statements.”

3. Belle & Sebastian: “Dear Catastrophe Waitress”

Weirdest Lyrics: “I’m sorry if he hit you with a full can of Coke/It’s no joke”

This song is an absolute treasure. As someone who can relate to being a catastrophe waitress (trust me I deserved the spilt soda), I feel its quirkiness on a spiritual level. The woman in the song is working for something more, and the singer knows it. He’s rooting for her, despite her clumsiness, and I think that’s absolutely adorable.

4. FIDLAR: “Max Can’t Surf”

Weirdest Lyrics: “He gets real stoned and tries to make it work/But God knows, he’s got no balance”

A hit piece for FIDLAR’s own drummer, this song is outrageously entertaining to listen to for its lyrics and its fun surf punk vibes. They literally just sing about the fact that Max gets too stoned to surf and calls him out for some other shit (strictly eating del taco, being a ginger).

5. Hot Flash Heat Wave: “Gutter Girl”

Correct me if I’m incorrect, but I’m pretty sure a gutter girl is a prostitute. So here, we have a song about not needing money because he’s “here to stay” with his whore. Which leads me to question whether it’s a huge cliché to be in love with a prostitute (a la Les Mis)? Well the song is aggressively in love, so more power to him.

6. Rubblebucket: “Came Out of a Lady”

This song is about the irony of wanting to be “saved” by someone who literally came out of a woman’s vagina. Which is cool I guess? But on top of the strange lyrics, its got a great beat and a kickass horn section and is one of the only songs with a whistle line that is bearable.

7. Dent May: “Born Too Late”

Poor Dent May, born too late to be with his lover. For him, age isn’t just a number, acting as a barrier to his affection. But it’s a little ridiculous, especially when he questions whether the person he pines after was born too soon. The song itself is melancholy, but maintains a bounciness, which is weird within itself.

8. Willow: “Wait a Minute!”

Weirdest Lyrics: “I left my consciousness in the 6th dimension/Left my soul in his vision”

The girl’s come a long way since the days of “Whip My Hair.” “Wait a Minute!” is modern, intricate, and kind of weird. Not gonna lie I don’t really know what she’s trying to convey in this song, but it’s funky for sure and I know I kind of love it.

9. Saint Motel: “Daydream / Wetdream / Nightmare”

This is kind of cheating because it feels like three songs in one, each one representing its relative title. It’s a narrative of love in three stages, and while it’s less generally weird than the other songs, it’s got a unique concept to it, despite fairly normal love-driven lyrics.

10. Tame Impala: “‘Cause I’m A Man – HAIM Remix”

The original version and this version are both so damn good, but this one might be my favorite. HAIM’s haunting rendition hangs over the listener like a mist, with the chorus coming from a steady buildup. To be honest, I thought they were singing, “I’m a man/woman,” not “I’m a man, woman,” which changes the meaning and makes it less interesting, but still, not too typical.

  1. Glass Animals: “Season 2 Episode 3”

Weirdest Lyrics: “Baby, now my head is on backwards/And my feet at funny angles”

This playlist would be remiss without some Glass Animals thrown in. It’s undeniable that their music is WEIRD. None of their songs fit typical themes of music and lyrics. I have no idea what is going on in this song except that he’s singing about food I think? “Season 2 Episode 3” also samples the first song from this playlist, which is fun.


Claire Goldberg
is the Voice's former editoral board chair and halftime leisure editor. She "says a lot of funny things," according to Emma Francois.

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