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“Call Your Girlfriend” – Erato

Viewers Choice!Todays choice comes from Lizzie Keys of Somerville, MA.   This Swedish Acapella trio manages to pull enormous emotion and beauty with a few tupperwares and what couldn’t have been more than an off-the-shelf microphone.  I’m impressed, and I hope you are too!  Enjoy.

This video went viral just a few months ago, showcasing the sweet and delicate talent of Erato, a Swedish female trio that covered Robyn’s dance/electro sensation, “Call Your Girlfriend.” After hitting YouTube with a bang, Erato’s gentle, relatable style has been noted by HuffPost and the Guardian UK, to name a few.

I was stuck by this simple black & white video, which is a great contrast to Robyn’s lightshow, warehouse dance-a-thon (gotta love her outfit though). Filmed at a small kitchen table with the patter of empty margarine dishes setting the driving beat, the scene feels both intimate and vulnerable.

The song (lyrics found here) follows an entreaty for someone to “have the talk” with his (or her!) girlfriend. The singer(s) walks the aforementioned through what to say (“It’s not her fault”) and, more importantly, what not to say (“Don’t you even try and explain / How it’s so different when we kiss”). For anyone who has felt that buzz of chemistry (or its disappointing counterpart—the fizzle of a lacking connection), this kind reminder feels both warmly familiar and enigmatically unnerving. Has my significant other ever kissed another and felt that instantaneous affinity? Surely.
But we don’t care to be reminded of it.

Yet it is in the delivery that Erato captures the emotional essence of the lyrics. Each time the ladies of Erato split and harmonize on the line “Never meant to hurt no one,” it’s hard not to feel the inherent fracture characteristic of any breakup. And the crescendo of “And then you let her down easy” that’s coupled with the
descending-line melody viscerally embodies those unavoidable disconsolate moments.

I’ve talked with a few friends about this song, and it elicits a different response in each of us. Personally, I find this cover of “Call Your Girlfriend” to be a saturnine, yet hopeful piece, one that I can’t seem to shake from a near-daily routine listen. To some, it is a just calmer rendition of a dance hit: a two-and-a-half minute sound bite worthy of a trivial spot on a “Study Session Jamzzz 2012” playlist. But for others, it seems more personal—an authentic rendering of a remembered encounter— like the heartbreaking goodbye or a bittersweet beginning to a relationship.

Perfect song for a gray March day.

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Lizzie is a junior at Tufts University studying Economics & Community Health.
She is a business development assistant at the legal management consulting firm
Argopoint in Beacon Hill, Boston.

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