Nine years ago, my favorite thing on the internet was the “Let’s Get Some Shoes” video my dorm pals and I watched on repeat on this cool new thing called YouTube. Like many of the early viral hits, I assumed the “Shoes” video would no longer be amusing to me now, but I rewatched it recently and couldn’t stop laughing. Admittedly, I was intoxicated, so I watched it again in the light of day. Still funny in a totally frivolous way that at the time didn’t feel particularly of the moment, but in hindsight is representative of what was considered humorous on the internet during YouTube’s infancy. There’s something particularly ‘90s about making light of how much women seem to like shoes; by the mid-2000s, that safe kind of sitcom banter made for an absurd, if inane, send-up.
I couldn’t stop thinking about “Shoes” protagonist Kelly and her ultimately violent quest for fashionable footwear when I heard the new single from Benji Hughes, the prolific North Carolina singer-songwriter who’s been a Vulture favorite since he first transitioned away from jingle-writing and soundtrack work and toward his own eccentric take on pop. The song is called “Girls Love Shoes,” and we’re premiering it.
In Hughes’s world, girls love other things, too, of course: parties, the beach, shopping, yoga, dancing, laying out, boys. Yeah. I know how it sounds. But Hughes sings the song, which I’m told is very earnest, with a detached fascination that suggests he knows that women’s interests are infinite, not relegated to just the obvious stuff. But in case you did happen to forget (Sex and the City was a long time ago, you know?), some women do seem to enjoy a good pair of shoes, so let’s celebrate that with a psychedelic jam that at one point recalls the quietest moments of Pet Sounds and at others, employs intergalactic sound effects to dramatic effect. In other words, the song is as insane as anything Hughes has released yet, which is a pretty high bar to pass.
The TL;DR here: “Shoes” is still okay for a couple of silly, silly laughs (I prefer the extended, parents-just-don’t-understand version), and Benji Hughes has a new (and highly stream-of-conscious) album, Songs in the Key of Animals, out January 29 via his new label Merge. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go get some shoes.