Hostage - Pool Boy [Single Review]

Words: Cam Hurst

Listening to Perth synth-pop group Pool Boy’s new single Hostage kind of feels like entering a weird meditative state where singer Beth Commons’ late night bedroom feelings are laid out flat before you. Over an insistent, quavering synth progression and syncopated beat, Commons croons - at times unintelligible lyrics - about a claustrophobic relationship holding her captive.

The wobbling repetition of the same four chords throughout Hostage could become boring, but instead lend the song a feeling of contemplative intimacy. ‘Hold me hostage on the phone, hold me hostage in your arms’, sighs Commons mournfully in a rising and falling melody through underwater-like vocal effects. It’s hard to tell whether she’s earnestly giving a fuck or is just reveling in the glory of feeling sad. Jokingly dismissive lines like ‘your eyes sore from salty tears, my lips sore from salty chips’ seem to say that Commons is self-aware enough to recognize the mundane universality of her situation but still appreciates the sad girl vibes it gifts her.

Then again, I have no real idea of what her emotions are and that whole analysis could be complete trash...ignore that weird interpretation of the meaning of Hostage if you will, but listen to it for minimalist synth-pop placing you in a Zen trance or to accompany self-indulgent feelings of misery. Would also recommend eating Kraft Singles cheese slices as pictured on the cover artwork for maximum enjoyment.