This is the douchiest song in the world — and I’m totally in love with it
I am in love with a bad song. Since I found “Closer” by The Chainsmokers (ft. Halsey) on Sunday night, I’ve listened to it about twenty times.
I don’t generally accept the term “guilty pleasure” — if you like something, you should own it — but I am ashamed of this one. It is an awful song, and it has an awful music video. But damn, it makes me feel alive.
The Chainsmokers in case you are unaware, are the douchiest musicians to exist. Their song “Kanye” is the only one I know that exists for SEO. They also have a song called “#Selfie,” which a lot of people pretended was viral a few years ago but which actually isn’t even good enough to be viral. When they came to my college, Binghamton University, a couple of years ago, they tried to make a viral video called “Ebrola,” a fratty take on the deadly Ebola virus. To do so, they performed at APES, a fraternity that does so much cocaine that it isn’t recognized by the university. “One kid knew a girl who was hooking up with one of The Chainsmokers” a member of APES told Pipe Dream at the time, to explain how they got them to play a set in their mansion. Despite dressing up in hazmat suits, the group never completed their “Ebrola” video.
That’s who I’m dealing with.
And then there’s Halsey. Halsey, who “borrowed” a sweater and never gave it back. She’s awful.
The song’s music video is all about legs. Every time you think you know what Halsey’s face looks like, it cuts away to her legs. They hardly seems attached to her body. They are stranded in filmic space, two corn dogs lightly baked. Legs and drone shots.
The video also displays every single lyric onscreen, a kind gesture for the deaf people who want to experience the song and learn what it looks like when someone tries to rhyme without really knowing what rhyming is. They glorify theft and excess, in a douchy, fratty way: “So baby pull me closer in the/backseat of your Rover/That I know you can’t afford/Bite that tattoo on your shoulder/Pull the sheets right off the corner/Of the mattress that you stole/From your roommate back in Boulder.”
The song is based on a drum machine that has the soul of a tamagatchi. It panders to the YOLO instincts I sneer at. It is barely a song.
And damn, it just rips.