Ethan Gold Is Looking For “Pretty Girls”

Skewing conventionality with experimental themes isn’t exactly a new concept in pop music, but for some reason, Ethan Gold is able to make it feel like an entirely fresh formula for making inspired indie-pop in songs like his new single “Pretty Girls.” Flanked with a passive chamber-pop aesthetic that haunts the harmonies whilst nudging neo-psychedelic notes forward courtesy of Gold’s distant, isolated singing, “Pretty Girls” feels almost ghostly in certain moments, alluding to a fleeting glance between two strangers that lingers in both of their minds for the remainder of the day. It’s quite a curious listen, and prime fodder for American college radio this fall. 

The music video for this track feels like the ultimate visualizer, combining the raw lyrical themes from the song with fearlessly avant-garde nods to the simplistic, minimalist artistry we’re starting to see less and less of among indie pop/rock output on both sides of the Atlantic these days. It’s a little lamenting, but there’s a moderate optimism to its bright, kaleidoscopic color scheme that actually feels rather complementary to the soundtrack, despite any cosmetic conflicts in the make-up of the video. Gold doesn’t mind trying something daring, and a release like this proves as much. 

Watch the video for “Pretty Girls” below

“Pretty Girls” features a presence of rhythm that highlights the brooding undertow of the lyrics through a casual, unfussy pacing somewhat contrasting with the tempo of the verses, and although it could be stripped of any percussive element in the backdrop and still feel really insistent through Gold’s singing, I like what the drums bring to the table here. You’d be hard-pressed to find a stitch of filler within the confines of any composition this player has produced in years past, and it’s for this reason that my expectations coming into the review of his latest release remained as high as ever. 

Once again, I’ve found myself quite captivated by Ethan Gold’s musicianship and overall execution here, and I think that anyone who has been feeling a little restless under the boot heel of commercial pop music would do well to give this new track a listen. Both the video for “Pretty Girls” and the single as it stands on its own demand a reaction from their audience, and as much as I can respect the songwriting chops behind its creation, this is a piece that breathes thanks to the man singing it. Ethan Gold is one of a kind, and that’s irrefutable when listening to something like this. 

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