Song Premiere: The Prettiots, 'Suicide Hotline' : All Songs Considered Ukulele, wit and a pinch of perspective fend off a friend's worry in the NYC alt-pop trio's latest single.
NPR logo Song Premiere: The Prettiots, 'Suicide Hotline'

Song Premiere: The Prettiots, 'Suicide Hotline'


The life of a musician is notoriously hard on friends and family. Grueling schedules, inconsistent paychecks and ease of access to any number of vices can all make caring about a band member taxing. Courtney Barnett has an entire song about her parents' worries, including but not limited to her caloric intake. And then there are the times, as described in alt-pop trio The Prettiots' new single, when that concern takes on a life-and-death tone.

"Suicide Hotline," like many Prettiots songs, couches stunning barbs of insight between sweet, fun harmonies and playful ukelele strums. In this case, singer Kay Kasparhauser says the lyrics describe a time in her life when her "friends and also therapist were a little worried." They're macabre, invoking both Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf in darkly humorous fashion. But they're also lucid and contain a notable amount of perspective, which should go far in quelling the concern of friends and counselors alike.

"My head's not in the oven / But I can't get off the floor," sings Kasparhauser in her no-frills, relatable deadpan. A song about so heavy a subject isn't for everyone, but its willingness to approach the darkness with a light heart is commendable at least and empowering at best. For many, The Prettiots' specific brand of snarky sincerity (or sincere snark?) will be exactly what the psychiatrist ordered.