It’s attainable that you simply bear in mind the primary time you heard it. Possibly it was in your TikTok feed, accompanied by a jaunty, illustrative dance. Maybe it got here whenever you sat down to look at the opening sport of the school soccer season at first of September. However each time it occurred, it’s nearly sure that you simply’ve heard “Fancy Like,” the nation hit about discovering pleasure in mid-tier chain restaurant Applebee’s.
Launched on June 4, the ascendancy of nation newcomer Walker Hayes’s “Fancy Like” has been the definition of meteoric. It’s presently the primary nation track within the nation, in line with the Billboard Sizzling Nation Songs chart. It’s additionally achieved crossover success, peaking at #1 on the Digital Gross sales chart and galvanizing a remix duet with pop star Kesha, who found the track by way of TikTok.
Mining the type of down-home relatability that makes each nation music and chain eating places a staple in American life, it celebrates discovering pleasure within the less-fine issues in life — consuming a Bourbon Road steak at Applebee’s, sharing an Oreo milkshake topped with whipped cream together with your date, then going out to do some ill-advised drunk driving together with your paramour and a cooler filled with Pure Lights in tow.
As a rustic lady from a small city in Northeast Texas, I get it. I too admire a mid-tier chain restaurant — possibly I ought to write my very own track about these breadsticks on the Olive Backyard — and perceive the impulse to reject the trimmings of movie star and wealth that can by no means be attainable to me. However I additionally know that this track, which has been streamed greater than 100 million instances, is an absolute scourge.
Engineered to the enamel by Hayes and his co-writers, Nashville hitmakers Shane Stevens, Cameron Bartolini, and Josh Jenkins, “Fancy Like” was basically created in a lab to be a viral hit. It’s the right mix of catchy, foolish, and relatable — all important components of a basic nation story track, just like the Chicks’s legendary “Goodbye Earl.” (“Goodbye Earl” additionally advantages from one other tenet of excellent nation music: some gentle homicide.) It’s a one-in-a-million track that unites followers throughout genres, whether or not they adore it or would select having their eardrums forcibly perforated with an ice choose in lieu of ever having to listen to Walker Hayes sing about seducing his girl with boxed wine and a kisser, as long as his mouth isn’t actively dipping Skoal.
Applebee’s isn’t the one model talked about within the track — Pure Mild beer, Wendy’s, and Maybelline additionally get shoutouts — however one can solely think about the type of intense ecstasy felt by the fits within the Applebee’s advertising division as quickly as “Fancy Like” began to development. The model has struggled lately, and Applebee’s has executed every part from promoting $1 Lengthy Island Iced Teas to providing limitless French fries with the acquisition of an entree to get diners again within the doorways. Now, content material creators are posting movies of their Applebee’s date nights to TikTok, racking up thousands and thousands of views.
The track has been so influential for Applebee’s, the truth is, that it was pressured to truly put the Oreo shake again on the menu. A longtime fixture, the Oreo shake was discontinued within the midst of the pandemic. In my temporary time as a 15-year-old hostess at Applebee’s almost 20 years in the past, the Oreo shake was a coveted deal with, solely an possibility if one might efficiently rip-off a bartender into schlepping out the blender and filling it with ice cream and milk.
To be clear, I perceive why somebody would possibly wish to write a track Applebee’s Oreo shake as a result of, sure, it is extremely good. There’s additionally nothing unsuitable with having fun with a date evening at Applebee’s. What’s at problem, although, is that we’ll all quickly be unable to flee “Fancy Like.” It’s a terribly infectious earworm, one that won’t go away your head with out copious sleep or maybe pharmaceutical aids.
Certain, there have been many horrible jingles related to restaurant chains prior to now. Within the late Nineteen Nineties, the Chili’s “Child Again Ribs” business theme grew to become so ubiquitous that it was perpetually immortalized in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. However what’s so nefarious about “Fancy Like” is that it wasn’t written by an promoting government, a la “Child Again Ribs.” Nope, it got here from precise songwriters seeking to flip the enchantment of a middling restaurant model right into a number-one hit.
The manufacturers have absolutely enmeshed themselves into our lives, little question about that. Product placement has existed in movie and tv, even music movies, for many years. However there’s one thing about listening to a grown (wealthy!) man earnestly sing in regards to the enchantment of an overcooked steak that he’ll by no means eat that feels additional grating. Particularly when that track is interrupting your potential to sleep at evening, or watch the Dallas Cowboys play on a Sunday afternoon.
Name it snobbery, however as a solidly center earnings individual whose highschool job was truly at an Applebee’s, I do know that this isn’t precise relatability. It’s pandering to center America in a manner that each romanticizes the “regular” life and flattens it to the manufacturers that we affiliate with that have. For some, that’s interesting and comforting. However in actuality, it’s simply one other manner for the manufacturers to search out their manner into your pockets.
Now formally a part of the pop-culture zeitgeist, we are going to by no means escape “Fancy Like.” An unbelievable instance of selling genius for each Hayes and Applebee’s, don’t be stunned if this track endures nicely past the everyday TikTok development. It’s in your For You web page, it’s in your tv, and now, will probably be in your head. Ceaselessly.