My childhood fantasies of Greek and Roman mythology were reignited when I stumbled upon this Peach Pit track a few weeks ago. Initially released in 2017, “Alrighty Aphrodite” was one of the first singles off the Vancouver-based band’s debut album, Being So Normal, in 2018.
The song uses the goddess Aphrodite to represent a possibly unfaithful or indecisive woman. With continual remarks on her otherworldly beauty, lead singer Neil Smith writes of the woman’s selfish and misleading ways. The lyricism of this track is not only poetic, but it references many prominent artworks inspired by the goddess.
The initial line of verse one, “take a seat back in your clamshell,” references the painting ‘The Birth of Venus’ in which the goddess is depicted standing in a giant clamshell. Verse two makes note of the famous sculpture ‘The Crouching Venus’–which depicts Venus (Aphrodite) bathing in a crouched position–with the lines, “run your mornin’ bath in sea form/ soak your milky skin in the tide.” It is also mentioned in legend that Aphrodite was born of white sea form. Smith is able to unite legend and vivid imagery within each of the verses, which is one of the primary qualities that makes this song so profound.
Verse two also draws upon the famous painting ‘The Pearls of Aphrodite,’ with the line, “little pearl you think you’re in gold.” But Smith is quick to depict the darker side of the goddess with the following, “But I can see the dirt in your lines.” The whole ocean isn’t enough for her, so neither is the narrator (presumably Smith).
The chorus lines, “if I’d known you sold on maybe” and “go whip that red for other eyes” signify the contentment of the narrator for his goddess. He feels equally played and betrayed, just as many of Aphrodite’s victims in the myths.
This soft-spoken lyricism pairs perfectly with lead guitarist Christopher Vanderkooy’s guitar riffs. Simultaneously seductive and spooky, the guitar makes the listener feel the true power the goddess possesses. The whole of “Being So Normal” maintains a similar sound, but I find “Alrighty Aphrodite” to be the epitome, the golden pearl, of the album.