Pussyft’s “Little Green Men,” a single released May 8, takes a bizarre and intriguing twist on the indie music scene. Witty, sarcastic, and unflinching, this song toes the line of ridiculous and clever, executing a narrative which questions today’s views on entitlement, importance, and “hipster culture.” In its bolder moments, the song seems to suggest that if extraterrestrial creatures were to land on Earth today, we humans, in all our ridiculousness, would be the real aliens.
In terms of structure, “Little Green Men” is narrative-based and rather repetitive, framed in techno beeps and dark, swinging rhythms. It outlines a story about aliens landing on earth only to “mess with” the hipsters.
They’re coming ‘round/To hipster town/Mess with the scene/Gonna make them scream.
The vocals are somehow retro and futuristic at the same time, with a cadence reminiscent of Robert Smith and a vocal mixing style that alludes to a Daft Punk influence. There’s a robotic edge to the harmonies, a fuzzy outline which enhances the alien feel.
A plan in view/It’s your tattoos/They’ve seen your ink/It’s made them think.
This verse kicks off the more blistering lyrical section of the song, in which Pussyft ridicules the self-importance present in hipster culture. The sarcasm leaks off the track — you can nearly hear the smile in Merigliano’s voice. Tattoos are a pillar of hipster culture, wherein many members show off intricate designs that have significant meaning in their community or personal life. The lyrics here poke fun at the performative aspects of this practice, joking that hipsters find themselves so important that they probably think their tattoos would change an entire alien species’ mindset.
With all those tats/Get our power back/Want to run our ship/Don’t care if you’re hip.
From here, the narrative takes an even stranger twist, suggesting that the aliens intend to harvest the hipsters’ tattoos in order to power their ships. Yes, you read that right. The aliens want to strip off the hipsters’ tattoos and use them to power their ships. Do you see why I called the song psychedelic? The colonizing relationship between the aliens and the hipsters plays off the hipsters’ conception of self-importance — it seems to suggest that hipsters find themselves so important that extraterrestrials would only visit to see and steal their tattoos.
They came to wash/It all away/Your cool tattoos/Are gone today.
What’s interesting here is that the song seems, on some level, to verge on postmodernism: the song seems aware that it’s a song, and aware of how its structure reproduces the logic which it simultaneously criticizes. In other words, the lyrics criticize hipster culture for its perceived self-importance, and yet it reinforces their self-importance by centering a song around them when it’s supposed to be about aliens.
Your tattooed arm/Is raw and red/Hipster you were/Is now dead.
Pussyft’s “Little Green Men” is, frankly, bizarre. It’s soaked in echoing layers, anxious guitars, and biting lyrics. At times, it lacks energy, but not exactly in a bad way — it really picks up about two minutes in, when it digs into its lyrical ideas and hones in on its instrumental potential. The last line cuts off the song rather sharply, flickering into a few final seconds of quiet. The song leaves the listener unmoored and drifting, wondering if we’re the aliens ourselves.