Pretty Great Love Advice from The Prettiots
The indie-pop duo talks lame dudes and being independent.
The winkingly-clever coolness of The Prettiots—which is the tongue-in-cheek moniker used by singer and ukulele player Kay Kasparhauser and her best friend bassist Lulu Landolfi—is clear from their band name alone.
While the girls are undoubtedly pretty, they are certainly not idiots. And while their bubblegum pop sounds like slumber party jams, the lyrics of tracks like "Suicide Hotline" and "Move To LA" can be a little dark and disarming. ("Stabler," for example, is an ode to the unlikely Law & Order: SVU heartthrob.) Consider their debut album Funs Cool a thinking girl's take on Top 40s. So before you find yourself singing along to lyrics about Sylvia Plath under your breath—which will happen as soon as you give the record a spin—read up on the rest of The Prettiot's wisdom.
You both get on stage and are total badasses. A lot of people are intimidated by badass girls. What's your advice for doing your thing anyway?
Lulu: I don’t know, but if you find the answer, let me know.
Kay: I think the only time I'm doing it is on stage. But I don’t know, YOLO. Life is too short to pretend to be something you’re not.
Lulu: After a certain point, you get sick of being so cynical about it that you realize you actually don’t care that much. You feel like, "Ugh, I’m going to be alone forever." And then you realize that being alone forever isn’t the worst in the world. And also that’s not going happen. But you get to a point of accepting. And know that eventually, you’re not going to think about it anymore. The second you stop thinking about it and stop worrying about it and stop stressing about it, someone’s going to walk up and be like, “Hey you want to go on a date?” I guarantee it.
Kay: I’ve spent so many years of my life thinking, like, at least I’m not alone! But then the guy’s terrible. I think that once I got a Netflix account, my perspective on being alone changed. I’m like, well I could just watch The Fall all night. And that’s dope.
You sing about boys a lot. What's the biggest lesson you've learned about dating?
Lulu: Don't spend your money on anybody.
Kay: Don't ever wait around for someone. Don't expect anything from anyone. Be yourself from the beginning, because if not, you’re with someone who wants to be with someone that’s not you. And then you’re f*cked. Don't ever wait for someone to text you; don’t ever wait for someone to ask you out. Either go ahead and do it yourself, or just forget about it.
Lulu: You have more important things to be doing.
Kay: Text him, ask him out, or get over it.
So many songs sung by guys are about an idealized version of a girl who definitely doesn't exist. What made you flip the script with "Dream Boy"?
Kay: It’s a really old song, probably four years old, and at the time I had just become single for the first time in years. I didn’t know how to date; I didn’t know what I was looking for, so I did this dumb magazine thing where you make a list of ideal qualities in a mate.
Lulu: Kind of like The Secret, where you visualize it and it will happen, because that’s how life works.
Kay: I realized, wow, my standards are pretty low.
"Suicide Hotline" deals with a pretty dark subject in a lighthearted sound (i.e. "On a scale of one to Plath I'm like a four / My head's not in the oven but I can't get off the floor"). What was the inspiration for that?
Kay: We really do talk and think like that. Cynical, but funny about it. When I wrote that song, I was in a really, really dark place and I was battling with suicidal depression. As Lulu can attest, that’s how we joke about stuff—we laugh about it. If we can laugh about it, we can survive it. And you have to laugh about it, because the alternative is not great. When you deal with depression, you never really stop dealing with depression.