“Your Parents (Dancing with the Stars)” is an electro-pop gem from Brooklyn-based Franco-Australian artist Benedict Sinister, following up his “16 Lines from Bryan Ferry,” which reached the Number 5 Breakout spot on the Billboard dance club charts.
A love song with an accompanying Simpsons-style, New York set animated video, “Your Parents” comes with a heavy dose of references and inside jokes from pop culture, politics, psychoanalysis, and film history. Sinister ridicules his girlfriend’s parents – their home cooking (“your mom’s peanut butter pies”), Christmas gifts (“a book by Dan Brown”), conversation (“I suppose we’d discuss Charlie Rose”), media preferences (“Fox News or HuffPo”), etc. – but as a good boyfriend he says he is willing to tolerate all of these, and even capitulate to “watching Dancing with the Stars.”
But soon enough, the parental phrase “Chloe’s told us so much about you” takes on an ominous resonance and the video shows Benedict himself experiencing the discomfort of being judged for his age difference with Chloe, while Chloe herself takes her parental issues, interest in older men and love of Lana Del Rey to the psychiatrist’s couch.
In this hipster Meet the Parents and contemporary rethinking of Woody Allen’s Manhattan, the proto-supermodel Dalton student girlfriend is updated to a Ramona Flowers-style Williamsburg alt grrl – or rather eight different possible versions of her, allowing the song and the video for “Your Parents” to skewer the full range of New York parents, from Columbia School of the Arts faculty, to fitness fanatics, house proud suburbanites to retired couples holding hands on a park bench.
The song combines a laid-back Chainsmokers-style arrangement with Sinister’s trademark spoken word delivery and has drawn comparisons ranging from John Legend to Chris Isaac, and from Frank Sinatra to Weird Al Yankovic. Los Angeles DJ Christian B (whose current single “In Another Life” ft Meiko is out now on Spotify and Beatport) has produced a house remix of the track giving it a eurodisco feel with hints of Disclosure, Kraftwerk & Yello.
Sinister cites French singer-songwriter Vincent Delerm’s Parisian Bourgeois-Bohemian anthem, “Tes Parents” as inspiring him to write his own New York based original song. The “Your Parents” video clip was created by Sinister himself. In a typical subversive twist, he made it using Vyond corporate animation software.