Sunday, March 31, 2024

Walt Disco’s ‘You Make Me Feel So Dumb’ is Social Anxiety Made Audible

The weird and wonderful glam-pop quintet from Glasgow, Walt Disco, have done it again with another hauntingly honest release. ‘You Make Me Feel So Dumb’ is the second sneak peek from their soon-to-be-released album ‘The Warping’, following their previous single ‘Pearl’ which was just as emotionally charged.

The song explores the band’s struggle to navigate confusing signals and societal expectations, ultimately landing on a theme of self-preservation through emotional detachment. 

The opening lines set the stage for a protagonist overwhelmed by social cues: "I don't know / What's good to say or what is conversational / Do I need to stay or is it optional?"  They're unsure of how to act, highlighting a lack of confidence and experience in navigating social interactions. This confusion extends to physical cues, with "This body talk / Too hard for me to read" suggesting the protagonist feels pressured to decipher unspoken desires, leading to them shutting down entirely: "I'll just ignore it all / And let you come to me".

The frustration mounts as the vocalist perceives mixed messages: "Always seems to me like there's some mixed signals (oh god)." This ambiguity creates a power imbalance, leaving them constantly guessing and questioning their own intuition. Rather than risk rejection by initiating intimacy, the protagonist retreats into a self-protective strategy: "So say the lines / And I'll fake it / I don't wanna be the one to say it." They'd rather passively follow the other person's lead than express their own desires.

This fear of vulnerability is further emphasized by the line "I'll save you some time by not returning your interest". Here, the singer prioritizes the other person's feelings over their own, suggesting a deep-seated fear of rejection. The emotional toll of this dynamic is evident in the repeated refrain, "You make me feel so dumb / You make me feel like I'm the only one / You make me feel so dumb." The vocalist feels incapable of understanding the situation and believes they're uniquely struggling.

The crunchy, gritty rhythm from the guitar and drums carries the song through to a funky, jazzy sound. There’s the synth which brings the song to retro-futuristic perfection, before being swept away by the piano and saxophone pronouncing themselves in a theatrical finish.

‘You Make Me Feel So Dumb’ is a danceable, catwalk-inspired outpouring of social awkwardness.

Vukile Ntsaba

Image: ‘You Make Me Feel So Dumb’ Official Single Cover

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