As a part-time employee at one of the world's largest fashion retailers, I have seen some of the best songs that electronic music has to offer become the underscore of back-to-school shopping. I've watched children vomit on garment racks to the sweet sounds of Kygo; heard Kate Gosselin look-a-like's shriek obscenities at cashiers while Bob Sinclair echoes in the distance; and interrupted a Daft Punk karaoke session held by 13-year-olds in crop tops.
Whether these ten songs have merely been overplayed or require urgent disassociation from $6.95 V-necks, somehow they have managed to carve their name deep into the walls of shopping centers everywhere. A little too deep, for me.
Disclosure – "Latch"
Scene: A heavy-set mother to a litter of children motions to the speakers and informs her husband that "Ellen Degeneres dances to this song on her show." You hope she's wrong, but she's probably right.
Chvrches – "Mother We Share"
Scene: You're crippled with anxiety and manage to shove through shambolic racks of floral maxi skirts to reach the check out. You're at Forever 21 and one out of every three girls around you is wearing a daisy headband. Some of these girls and her friends are singing along to this song and agreeing that they "like this remix better." They pull out their high school student ID for a 15 per cent discount on an Aztec print jumper.Cyril Hahn – "Say My Name"
Scene: There are four strollers in a fender bender getting out of an elevator. No one finds the humor in it. One of the fathers mutters irately about "getting the hell out of here" and begins to look for an employee. You put your hand over your name tag.
Banks – "Warm Water (Snakehips Remix):
Scene: You think, It's cool that this is playing here. To your right, a woman has handed her ill-fated boyfriend a heaping pile of "going out dresses" to guard while she holds her Shazam app up to the speaker. You mentally take it back.
Kaskade feat. Dragonette – "Fire In Your New Shoes"
Scene: This is the karaoke session held by 13-year-olds in crop tops. I say for the third time today: I don't get paid enough to work here. (My manager hears me.)
Miami Horror – "Sometimes"
Scene: Browsing overpriced flasks and modern day knick-knacks in Urban Outfitters while this plays. The combination simultaneously gives you a false sense of coolness and the urge to take a hot shower.
DJ Snake x Yellow Claw x Spanker – "Slow Down"
Scene: There's this faux Hypebeast top you've got to try on. Looking in the mirror, you're feeling the fit, feeling the discounted price and feeling the song playing. While leaving, you witness two tourists throwing up peace signs whilst taking a mirror selfie. In the same shirt. You don't buy the shirt.
Flux Pavilion – "I Can't Stop"
Scene: You can't stop. You can't stop processing these customers through the checkout line. The faster it grows, the faster you chuck high waist jeans into a biodegradable bag. You're a machine. You're a robot. You're conquering 21st century consumerism. And then the debit machine goes down.
Goldroom – "Fifteen"
Scene: You think, Of course this plays here, because everyone in here either is fifteen or is trying to be fifteen.
Calvin Harris – "Feel So Close"
Scene: Your co-worker begins impassively changing the words to this song while they herd straggling customers out at mall close. "I feel so close to quitting this job right now / it's a force field." It's not intended to be a joke. You pretend it's more of a joke.
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