Ohrwürm. The Germans call such things an Ohrwürm: a tune that gets stuck, persistently, in your head. We call them Ear Worms. Shaun Keaveney has even devoted a whole feature to them on his BBC 6 Music breakfast show.
My usual earworms are typically things I would never choose to listen to. They’re always things like a Boyzone hit from the mid-90s, some form of bubblegumery like Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’ of Steps’ ‘5-6-7-8’. And then there’s ‘We are the Ovalteeneys’.
Fortunately there are occasions when the Venn diagrams of the Earworm discography and the All Good Music discography do intersect. ‘Wordy Rappinghood’ is a good example. As is St Vincent’s ‘Digital Witness’.
‘Digital Witness’ boasts an infectious flurry of parping brass that it’s impossible not to like: Bah-bah BAH ba ba ba ba ba baa, Bah-bah BAH ba ba ba ba ba baa.
If that doesn’t worm its way through your ears, nothing will. You are impervious to die Ohrwürmer. Congratulations. You are a marvel of modern medical science.
‘Digital Witness’ isn’t just about trumpets interfering with the cranium though. Its lyrics – an assessment of our reliance on small screens for every part of our lives:
If I can’t show it, if you can’t see me
What’s the point of doing anything?
It recalls lots of dystopian fiction: Orwell’s 1984 and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We for the theme of a lack of privacy and Raymond Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 for the willing submission to a world of screens in preference to reality or an engagement with ideas.
It is, in summary, rather good.
If you don’t have time to read any of the above – hopefully not because you’re too busy staring at screens – then this blast of three minutes and 22 seconds of pop bliss should fill in most of the gaps for you.
You can even watch a video for it on a screen of your choice.