Some songs endure because of a catchy hook or a memorable chorus. And while the Dandy Warhols’ Bohemian Like You can certainly claim both, their breezy tune about working at a vegan restaurant, casual hookups and inconvenient roommates also has the rare distinction of being even more relevant today than when it was written.
Since it came out in 2000, hipsters went from being a punchline, particularly at the expense of the band’s hometown Portland, Oregon, to making beards a familiar sight in boardrooms. Many people and critics took the Dandys’ famously laid-back vibe as suburban ennui, with Consequence of Sound even describing Bohemian Like You as “a stinging indictment of bougie hipster culture.”
As guitarist for the band since their first album in 1995, Dandys Rule OK, Peter Holmström says that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Oh, it’s totally sincere,” he says of the sentiment behind the song. “It wasn’t hipster culture back then — it was just the sort of weird little neighborhood that [lead singer] Courtney [Taylor-Taylor] lived in that he was trying to write a song about.”
And for that matter, he adds, it’s worth remembering who’s doing the labeling: “Kids are always gonna be doing something, and the generation older is always gonna be calling them something.”
Fifteen years later, the Dandy Warhols are back with their 10th album, Distortland. Holmström sees it as a continuation of their most recent, darker effort This Machine, but longtime fans will be happy to hear it occasionally veers away from that vibe all the way back to the fun-in-the-sun feeling of their biggest hit, Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia, especially on the tracks “Catcher in the Rye” and “STYGGO.”