SNP’s word of the day: Paradisco

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Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Word: Paradisco

Meaning: A supranatural dance club? Music for the specially-abled? Nobody knows…

Usage: “In paradiscos, we get bored of breaking actors/Turning beggars and the heroes.” — Charlotte Gainsbourg, in “Paradisco

You should know it because: The actor-chanteuse Charlotte Gainsbourg has just released her new double album Stage Whisper and the first single is “Paradisco.” I’ve been listening to it for weeks, because as my editor here can attest, there’s pretty much nothing in music I love more than emo lyrics over a shimmering beat. This Beck-produced track has a lot of scattered glass and hallucinatory anomie, but I can’t really say what it’s about; it might as well be Franglais. Like, what is a paradisco? It sounds like a club David Lynch would design, or a new designer drug, but—sadly—it’s not. Nor is it on It is, however, the name of a Seattle drag queen, a terrible-looking 2002 French musical, a M.A.C eyeshadow, a sound system, and a limo bus line in Southern California. You’d think for all that the word would have a meaning, but no. Sometimes words are just words because they sound pretty. Okay, let’s dance!

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  • Johnnyhwin

    hey sarah, i came across your article while searching for the meaning of the word myself, and from what i’ve gathered, it seems to be a play on the word “paradiso” or paradise.

    kind of out of left field but i wanted to share a remix i made of the track, an exploration on the dark themes of unbridled hedonism and moody sonic tones Beck captures lyrically and melodically on paradisco. 


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