Is it due to the rain
Or is she in some pain
She looks physically fine
Guess it’s something benign
In a world of environmental catastrophes, financial disasters, rising homelessness and political upheaval, a humble latte can serve as an anchor of consolation for the typical cog in the late capitalist machine. This is the genius behind the deceptively simple new track from Sparks, “The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte.”
Ron and Russell Mael have been wreaking wry commentary on modern life with their droll lyrics for five decades, but this single captures a specific zeitgeist: that of the burnt-out, frightened millennial, indulging in a coffee shop treat as the planet endures mass mayhem. The average $5 cup of coffee is a security blanket; a source of fuel to get through another hellish afternoon. The latte also has become a weapon of generational blame, co-starring with the equally maligned avocado toast in empty platitudes about wasted money.
The stories may differ on the surface, but the rotating cast of sorrowful coffee slurpers are all at their breaking points, dissatisfied, and grieving. On the surface “the girl” may appear Instagram-perfect, like this buzzy, bright anthem, but she is suffering and scared.
…But wait! Who’s that lady in the ketchup-red headphones and mustard-yellow suit in the video for this caffeinated lament? Why, it’s none other than the luminous Cate Blanchett, flailing her arms and banging her knees in a manic dance as the brothers Mael flank her in hyperspace. Russell sits on a stool observing her sweet moves, as Ron calmly heads off-camera to fetch a roll of paper towels to mop up a coffee puddle. After all, there’s no use in crying over spilt milk, even if it is just a foamy topper!
So how did this delightful video happen?
“We met Cate Blanchett in Paris at the César Awards last year,” Ron and Russell Mael said. “Little knowing that a year later, one of the great actors of our time (and a splendid person!) would graciously consent to lending her bootie-shaking skills to the first video from our new album, ‘The Girl Is Crying in Her Latte.’ Dreams really do come true. We will sleep well tonight knowing that forever we can say we co-starred in a film with Cate Blanchett!”
If Blanchett’s sweet dance moves look familiar to the goth set, it’s for good reason: the actress has been known to channel Siouxsie Sioux herself. Blanchett revealed in a 2017 interview with Entertainment Magazine that she drew inspiration from Siouxsie’s unique, unconventional movement and gender-bending boundary-pushing to develop her character Hela in the Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok.
“With Hela, I was trying to channel the kind of punk-rock iconography of the ’70s and ’80s, when Siouxsie Sioux was first coming on the scene,” she said. “She was a real pioneer in terms of the way that she presented herself. She was so fierce and uncompromising. And I was trying to bring some of that into Hela, and into the way that she moves and the way that she commands the space.”
During an interview about her latest film TÁR, Blanchett also mentioned that her favorite band is Einstürzende Neubauten, particularly the albums Alles in Allem – and Silence Is Sexy, “which is really good,” she said. “So I’ve been listening to them a little bit, because silence is sexy.”
Silence IS sexy…and trust us; lattes will hold your tears. We love you, Cate. We love you, Sparks.