BEST NEW SONG: STAYGOLD - SNOW GIRL
Electropop duo Staygold are here to stay with "Snow Girl," the newest single from their brand-new EP Phases 2.
In the influential YA novel The Outsiders, unfortunately pushed on uncaring teenagers during freshman year English class, Johnny Cade tells Ponyboy "Stay golden," as he lay dying. It's a reference to a Robert Frost poem, "Nothing Gold Can Stay," about how all good things must come to an end.
"Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay."
"Stay golden," is one of the most iconic, recognizable quotes of 20th Century literature, despite its bleak, pessimistic message. All things fade. The center cannot hold. Things fall apart.
Still, life was much different when S. E. Hinton published The Outsiders in 1967. "Youth culture" was in its earliest stages, as the idea of “the teenager" developed to take advantage of young people with raging hormones and money to burn. Here in the 21st Century, we've made an artform and a lifestyle out of extending adolescence. 30- and 40-somethings take vacations to the Museum Of Ice Cream, to take adorable selfies in front of pastel pink walls. Twitch livestreaming is becoming a viable career option. Geek chic fashion is on the rise.
While there's a lot of bad press being slung in the direction of the millennial Peter Pan's and Wendy's, with their "failure to launch syndrome" and all, but there is something to be said for delaying 'adulthood' for as long as possible, or at least until you know what you want to do with it. As Ally Sheedy warned us in The Breakfast Club, "When you grow up, your heart dies."
Rising indie electropop duo Staygold exist in this interzone between childhood and adult-ing, between fantasy and cold, hard reality, as can be heard on their newest single "Snow Girl."
STAYGOLD - SNOW GIRL
Not that any of this is explicit in "Snow Girl"'s slight, elegant r&b/club pop. If anything, Staygold almost sound like they're critiquing the selfishness of selfie culture, in the image of a self-occupied club girl.
In this way, Staygold act like the two-faced Roman God Janus, looking backwards towards innocence and forward, to envision more satisfying, deeper connections, separate from instant gratification and Instaglamour.
We have a tendency to glamorize youth and to demonize adulthood. This overlooks the fact that childhood kind of sucks, in a lot of ways. Kids can be unimaginably cruel and teenagers can be unforgivably shallow and petty. On the other hand, adulthood means doing what you want, knowing yourself and having the self-confidence to show for it.
Even as we go about 'adulting,' it's important to not put away all 'childish' things. Even people with high-pressure careers or tons of obligations need to get out and shake their moneymakers from time to time, if only to gain some perspective on their relationships both good and bad. There is something inherently healthy about losing yr head in sweaty abandon to a heartbroken club banger. Tears and sweat may run together down your cheeks, but you're pretty much guaranteed to feel better once it's over!
If Phase 2 is any indication, Staygold are going to have club girls throwing themselves at them any second now, as they inevitably move towards big festivals and club dates. Hopefully, they will remember the lessons they've learned with "Snow Girl." After all, that's what growing up is actually about, taking hard knocks and learning to cope. We Are: The Guard recommend it for all and sundry, especially if you can keep your heart, soul, mind, and heart intact!
J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.