Weird, Lonely People

I initially glossed over Young Galaxy’s “Pretty Boy,” probably because it came out during a week that was absolutely loaded with new music releases (The Thermals, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Junip), but on second look/listen I think that both the song and the video are pretty noteworthy.

The song is about connecting with someone through mutual feelings of alienation (“And I know that you feel isolated/ and I feel what you won’t say/ I don’t care if the disbelievers understand/ You’re my pretty boy, always”), being brought together and experiencing a fondness for someone through shared estrangement from other people. As an added bonus, the subject of the song is a “pretty boy,” and it’s used here without the negative (to some people) connotation of “man who looks like a woman.” Being a pretty boy is the equivalent to being attractive in a feminine way, which is both celebrated (Tiger Beat) and scorned (everywhere else), but Young Galaxy’s Catherine McCandless is singing from affection and not sexual attraction.

This is explored in the video, as the two characters are wearing disconcerting rubber masks. The masks are a signifier of weirdness, or more specifically, the feeling of being too strange to connect with other people. They wear masks because they are outcasts, and when they find each other, they recognize kinship because of their similar presentation. They are the only two people in the video wearing the masks, which is a reflection of how they understand and relate to one another as misfits.