It’s not often that a classic pop song comes along and lifts you out of your bad mood, puts a little smile on your face and makes you chirrup like some crazy, nectar-intoxicated mynor bird. While ‘Hot Soup Girl’ may not be that song, it’s still awesome.
In fact, if any song summarises Davey Dreamnation’s understanding of modern music, it’s this one. Born out of a mistake during an experimental home recording session, the killer instrumental section has drawn comparisons with Led Zeppelin, Chris de Burgh and OMD, none of them favourable.
Still, from its humble acoustic opening to the soaring, angelic refrain, this is lighter-waving, undie-ripping, buttock-clenching pop music at its best. And if you don’t agree with that, then maybe you shouldn’t be here.
‘Davium’, only released as a b-side three months after the a-side appeared, is an incendiary call to arms for the world’s scientific communities. Conceived as a riposte to technical luddites unfamiliar with the Periodic Table of the Elements, the song quickly evolved into a tirade against ignorance, false Celtic consciousness and the Chipmunks, who make an unscheduled appearance during the song’s coda, or whatever you call that thing towards the end.
“Yeah,” the popular but enigmatic entertainer announced through his Esperanto-fluent interpreter, “I’ve discovered this new element, it’s called Davium. It’s so rare and so miniscule, it doesn’t even have a half-life. Up until now it hasn’t even had a name. That’s where I came in.”
In what was described by at least two people as a strange act of commercial suicide, Dreamnation later deleted the song.
Speaking in response to the inevitable howls of protest, both from diehard Davey Dreamnation fans and discerning music lovers around the world (including one former president and several roving ambassadors), Dreamnation’s Esperanto interpreter was believed to have said:
“Davey has received information from the international scientific community that the element he named ‘Davium’ does not actually exist, and that any songs or public communications making reference to this new ‘element’ should be scrubbed from the records.”
When asked what this meant for Dreamnation’s academic integrity, she said:
“Davey acknowledges the truth of what the international scientific community is saying. In fact, he claims it only goes to prove his point, that Davium is so rare that it may never even have existed. He sees no harm in writing a simple and whimsical folk ballad about his discoveries, and hopes that the unity shown by the international scientific community in roundly ridiculing him, subjecting him along the way to slander of the most fiendish order, might I add, may also be put to the benefit of some more pressing problems, including the unresolved matter of other missing elements so rare they cannot even be named.”
Markets responded cautiously to the news, sending zirconia prices tumbling. On Wall Street, investors were more interested in news of the artist’s hangover, after a run on his fledgling soft-rock start-up Identify! left his personal stocks at the whim of passers by and office cleaners everywhere.