December 15, 2020

Late 2000s infatuation anthem "Here (In Your Arms)" by Hellogoodbye, the ultimate nostalgia for early '90s births, the next viral Tik Tok "kissing my friend" song?

While looking further into the restless warm-up phase of the 15-year excitement cycle, to get a hint of what's coming in the current restless phase (2020-'24), I came across this song from the last restless phase (2005-'09). Really embodies the "coming out of your shell" aspect of the restless phase, after the "don't come near me" refractory state of the preceding vulnerable phase. Bonus points for the music video being set in the early '90s, the most recent restless phase at the time, creating a zeitgeist echo.

"Here (In Your Arms)" by Hellogoodbye (2006):

Judging from the YouTube comments, this remains one of the most painfully nostalgic songs for people born between 1990-'94, who were born during a restless phase and then turned 15 during another restless phase. I thought some of the late '80s births would have chimed in as well, but they're pretty uniformly early '90s births.

It resonated the most with high schoolers experiencing their first major infatuation, where they're finally getting close to the other person, beyond merely pining and crushing on them unbeknownst from afar. For the late teens and early 20-somethings of the time, they'd already been through that, so while it was popular with them, it was not such a life-stage-defining anthem as it was for the early '90s kids.

It came right back to life for me, an early '80s birth, even though I couldn't place exactly where it was from -- probably at dance clubs, where I was actually going, since I was not listening to the radio. However, Billboard says it was only a hit on dance radio stations (#3 weekly, #14 year-end) rather than in clubs (did not chart), so maybe it was a quirk of the particular club I went to. And despite coming out on an indie label, it crossed over to the Hot 100 chart (#14 weekly, #81 year-end).

You can search YouTube for 'hellogoodbye here "200X" ' for some year in the late 2000s, and aside from the live concert videos, there are plenty of self-made music videos of teens dancing around their room with a friend to this song. All normies, and the occasional "indie who was friends with normies". Very much like Tik Tok these days, only the movements are more freeform and joking-around, rather than a standardized dance-step routine that everybody does.

The point being, it was super-popular back then, and you'll remember it if you were in touch with those times, but it's more of a deep cut nowadays. Thus far into the late 2000s revival, we still haven't seen this one go viral all over again, like "Shake It" has done on Tik Tok.

And that's not because it doesn't have the potential -- it could easily be the next soundtrack in the family of videos about "working up the nerves to kiss my best friend". It would start out with "Our lips can touch," allowing a little tension to build but not forever, then when the chorus erupts in intensity, the person goes for it and plants a big one right on their lips. Similar dynamic to "Electric Love," which has been a gigantic success in that family of videos.

It could also be showcased in late 2000s revival movie, whose vague concept I've been toying around with, but that's for another post.


  1. This would work better than the current "confessing to crush" song, "Jenny" by Studio Killers, which is a bit too over-the-top with its line of "I wanna ruin our friendship / We should be lovers instead". Tone is a bit darker than the "Electric Love" and "Here".

    It's a bit overwhelming for someone who's just become aware that you like them.

    Plus the routine for "Jenny" is based on sending texts back and forth with your crush, and then screenshotting them for the Tik Tok clip. It's not IRL, and suffers from all the horrible things about online interactions. It's wimping out and retreating into the digital cocoon, when people need to come out of their shells IRL.

  2. What's interesting is that the breeziness of the warmup era disappears during the manic phase; when the rejection becomes more harsh and emphatic.

    For instance, 'The Supremes' "Keep Me Hangin' On"(1966 - late 60s manic phase), with the line 'get out, get out of my life'.

    Or how about "These Boots are Made for Walking" by Nancy Sinatra - also released in 1966, with the line "They're gonna walk all over you". Emphatic rejection.

    Whereas, the song "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" - released in 2005(with the lyric "You're not the one for me"), though the lyrics come across as harsh, the tone of the song is breezier in nature.

    I could have sworn "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" was released in the early 90s, haha.

  3. A fascinating article on the origins of Western nuclear families and its relationship to culture wars:


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