Back in 2016, NYC-based artist Stalking Gia achieved the first major milestone in her career with the release of “Second Nature”, a song that became a legit viral success with over 13 million Spotify streams. Later in 2017, Platinum-certified artist blackbear sampled “Second Nature” in his hit album “Digital Druglord”; the two artists would go on to continue working and even touring together for a while.
With over 20 million combined streams to her credit, Gia is currently self-releasing independently again after a very productive partnership with Epic Records. She’s described as “a specter in the space between online fantasy and Manhattan’s real-life nocturnal glow.”
Having to put on a mask to show the world you’re the happy-go-lucky kind is something that I think we all become familiar with at some point in our lives, and this is what Stalking Gia is singing about today with her newest single “Saddest Happy Girl”.
The song strikes with a nice -and rather baroque- rendition of “Oh My Darling, Clementine” with brand new lyrics that completely blindsided me, but that I’m sure was included entirely on purpose due to the heartbreaking story that the original tells. The familiar melodic intonation returns for the chorus of the song, which of course makes it very striking and memorable right away, as it conveys all of the bittersweetness that the title implies by borrowing from such a cultural touchstone.
“Clementine” (as it’s more commonly known) is most often sung as a lullaby or nursery rhyme, perhaps due to the gentle repetition of its core melody it has this hypnotic quality to it that makes it ideal for the task. The version that Stalking Gia brings with her own lyrical twist also includes a very particular reference to psilocybin that I think enhances the aforementioned quality, while also hinting at the pursuit of escapism and even relief from the clutches of an existential crisis brought about by all of the different pursuits that we have to manage simultaneously in life.
Gia summarizes the nature of the song as “at the moment nothing particularly bad happened but nothing incredibly amazing did either. It’s this middle ground of peace…relaxing smiling in the sun with an underlining shadow following you of all of the things you’re not.” – Which I think makes the song about anxiety gnawing at the edges of our lives even at times when we know we should be perfectly content with our lot and the endless possibilities laid before us. No bad news is good news, they say, but what is no good news in a long time either like? Baseline? This is what the “Saddest Happy Girl” grapples with.
Tags:Story: Samuel Aponte Photos: Courtesy of the artist
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