Canadian pop musician ELIO has a knack for releasing the right songs at the right time: earlier this year, as millions went into pandemic-induced isolation, she released "My Friends Online," an ode to wishing your internet friends could turn into the real deal. Now, as the world is, somehow, plunged into even more chaos than in the first half of the year — wildfires, election, a pandemic that's even worse than before — ELIO is back with "Jackie Onassis," premiering today on The FADER, a reminder that the world is bigger than TikTok outfit videos and Instagram vacation shots.
Striking a balance between bedroom pop and stadium sheen, "Jackie Onassis" is warmer and weirder than anything on ELIO's recent EP u and me, but mostly me, finding the emergent musician slowly but surely carving out a niche for herself somewhere in the zone between Clairo and Troye Sivan. Following in the spiritual footsteps of Lorde's "Royals," the song finds ELIO luxuriating in the ridiculousness of largesse: "We can be like Jackie Onassis and wear big glasses," she sings, "And only fly private to fit our baggage, cause we’re overdramatic."
Of the song, ELIO tells The FADER via email:
"'Jackie Onassis' is about wanting to break out of my day to day routine. I feel like I get into ruts where all I want to do is run away and start a new life, live it up big and do some crazy shit. It’s like this overdramatic coming of age setting for something I think everybody feels, wanting to run away from their regular life, spend all their money and live for the moment. This feeling of "y'know what, screw this, I’m flying to Paris tomorrow and I’m going to live like I’m a 1960’s socialite." It also touches upon the entitlement that comes with making those kinds of life choices — "only fly private to fit out baggage cause we’re overdramatic and the world is ending so fuck the environment, baby”.
I feel like most people want a luxurious life; I wanna be on a plane somewhere exciting all the time, I want expensive dinners, I wanna be dramatic and I don’t want to think of the responsibility of having to work, be environmentally conscious, save money etc. I wrote it September last year in like an hour, and it just kind of felt so natural to write at the time, but honestly, as this year has panned out, I’ve felt the “fuck it” feeling now more than ever. I think a lot of people are feeling this way, but it’s important to take a step back and realize the world is bigger than yourself and we all have a social responsibility. Definitely, nice to fantasize though."
Listen to "Jackie Onassis, and watch its ELIO-directed video, above.