Benji Hughes Dabbles in Gender Theory on ‘Girls Love Shoes’

Photo by Soleil Konkel.

Photo by Soleil Konkel.

In an age when women are more than capable of speaking for themselves, who better than to catalog their likes and dislikes than random indie-rock dudes? Benji Hughes gives it a shot on “Girls Love Shoes,” a new song from his forthcoming album “Songs in the Key of Animals.”

“Girls like parties, girls like the beach./ Girls like shopping, and yoga,” he begins, before concluding that “girls like lots of things,” but “girls love shoes.” He intones the lyrics in a soft, reedy voice over an experimental music bed that expands from a simple, pounding beat to vast sweeps of synthesizers and prismatic vocal harmonies and back to minimalist accompaniment.

It’s an oddball track, to say the least, crammed full of eclectic ideas from a musician whose resumé includes writing a Captain Morgan commercial jingle, contributing music to the movie “Walk Hard,” the HBO series “Eastbound and Down” and the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” and playing in the band Muscadine in the ’90s. But apart from an aside in the press notes for “Songs in the Key of Animals” — “Chicks like a lot of things, but they really love shoes, you know?” he says — Hughes lets the lyrics stand on their own.

Fair enough, but for playfully clueless meditations on women, the rapper and former Das Racist member Heems set the standard with “Womyn” from his 2012 release “Nehru Jackets.” Hughes’ “Songs in the Key of Animals is due Jan. 29 on Merge.

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