Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 2016
Original album - Super
Producer - Stuart Price
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - (none)

In terms of lyrics and subject matter—though not nearly so much with regard to the music—this song is a first cousin to the Very-era b-side "Shameless" and the Elysium track "Ego Music." Neil has also referred to it as "a not-even-that-distant cousin to 'Flamboyant.'" Framed by the sounds of cheering crowds, "Groovy" sounds like theme music for self-obsessed contemporary pop-star culture: "I just look so… look at me!… I've got to be seen." Come to think of it, it's somewhat reminiscent of small children, craving the attention of the adults around them.

Or, to put it quite a bit more indelicately, it's a song about people often referred to as "attention whores."

Interestingly, the apparent inspiration for this song wasn't, say, the red carpet at a pop music awards show. Rather, it was, as Neil has described it, "an alternative drag night [in Los Angeles] called Dragula where people wore sort of vampire costumes, but in drag, and it was very outrageous and very funny." (Chris then added, "I think we were probably the only two people who weren't dressed up.")

The narrator—a stand-in for all the studiously chameleonic, relentlessly trendy pop stars of the world—revels in his or her own exhibitionism: "When they see the latest me, people stop and stare." In fact, there's little if any suggestion in this song of what these people are actually famous for. Maybe they're simply famous for being famous.

I suspect there may be a fundamental irony in this song's use of the word "groovy." After all, "groovy" is hardly a new, "with it" word. It's been around at least since the 1920s in jazz culture, although it didn't gain truly widespread usage until the mid- and late 1960s, when it emerged as a favored term of approval among young people in general. Simon and Garfunkel's "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" from 1966, which was covered a year later in a bigger hit rendition by Harpers Bizarre, thrust it into the mainstream. It actually became a thoroughly dated and rather comic cliché by the 1980s. But perhaps it's been making a comeback of late. Regardless, celebrities presumably referring to themselves as "groovy" in 2016 hardly seem to be exemplars of novelty and chic.

List cross-references