“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone.” – S. King
I wrote that quote in a card last weekend that I gave to my dear friend Francisco. He leaves tomorrow morning for his new life in Los Angeles and I couldn’t be more proud of him. It’s hard sometimes to be happy for a friend when their opportunities take them so far away from you. I’m so jealous already of all the people he’ll meet out there that will get to enjoy him every day. Those people that will get the privilege of listening to his hilarious thoughts & stories, laughing with him until they cry and dancing around with him everywhere: in grocery stores, walking down the street and in smoky clubs. When you’re friends with Francisco, the whole world is a dance floor.
On Sunday we had our ‘goodbye brunch’ and ended with a small dance party/photo shoot in his bare apartment while he tried to figure out how to condense 64 pairs of shoes into a suitcase and I showed him my latest pop obsession, Betty Who. An Australian singer that’s been described as ‘the emotional dance floor wallop of Robyn at her finest, the ’80′s synth-pop sheen of Empire Of The Sun at their New Wave-iest and a bit of the euphoria of Madonna at her earliest, stuck all in an industrial-sized blender’.
As you know, I rarely need any convincing beyond the word ‘Robyn’ to hit play on a song, but when I heard that her infectious hit single ‘Somebody loves you’ was penned in tribute to Whitney Houston’s definitive ‘I wanna dance with somebody’, I knew this girl would be someone I could get behind. Normally I don’t post official videos in this column; I want you to hear songs for the first time without being distracted by the visuals. This time I’m going to make an exception because I fell in love with Betty’s music and look at the same time. She’s so refreshing in her 80s dance studio and house party, there’s not a packaged, glazed-eyed, stick figure teen diva to be found in this video. You can tell when an artist believes in her song and is having fun singing it to you; there’s a joy that can’t be faked with fancy lighting, acting or makeup, and Betty has this in spades.
Other honorable mentions on her album that you should check out if you dig her sound are ‘You’re in Love‘, a song that makes me immediately feel like I’m walking on a California beach and ‘Right Here‘, a slowed-down synth ballad that showcases a wonderfully sensual side of her. So hit play and get your hands on some fantastic new pop for your summer (Even though it’s a monsoon out there today, I swear it’s coming). As for my dear friend Fran, this song is for you. No matter where you go or who you meet, no matter how lonely or scared you get out there: don’t ever forget that you’re doing the right thing and that somebody loves you.