“Boy Next Door”: Lourdes Leon Modernizes a Judy Garland Classic

Daughter of Madonna, friend of Dorothy, astronomical gay rights.

Lourdes Maria “Lola” Ciccone Leon, also known as Lolahol, also known as the Heiress Apparent to the Throne, has a new song out.

And I fucking love it. I loooooove itttttt. (Genuinely, I can’t stop listening to it. Along with her tribute to her mother’s “Frozen,” it’s probably my favorite thing Lourdes has done yet as Lolahol to date.)

It’s not actually a new song, though. It’s actually a very, very old song given new life: a cover of the legendary Judy Garland‘s “The Boy Next Door” by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, featured in the 1944 Christmas classic Meet Me in St. Louis.

To be clear, this is the eldest daughter of Madonna going full Friend of Dorothy. Just astronomical levels of gay rights. By mere description alone, the release registered at a 9.9 on the GPRS (Gay Panic Richter scale).

“Boy Next Door” is Lola’s latest release as part of her artist collective called Chemical X, evidently named after the extra ingredient that formed the Powerpuff Girls. (“Chemical X just provided a space and an environment that was cozy and cute for beautiful things to happen. There’s so much fragmentation in the industry, and the sauce can get diluted. I want the punchy flavor: sugar, spice, everything nice,” founder Eartheater explained to W over the summer.)

The track was produced by co-member Kiri, who explained that Lola brought Judy’s classic to the studio as an idea for a cover, and “we immediately thought it would be perfect as a slinky liquid DnB track.”

Despite the fact that the unrequited love anthem will soon be celebrating its 80th birthday, it sounds thoroughly modern in this iteration, as Lourdes swoons and croons through a warm and dreamy soundscape punctuated by a brisk drum and bass heartbeat.

It’s like having Meet Me In St. Louis faintly playing in the background on the TV at the afters. Or, as the song’s mix engineer James Rand describes it: “Repositioning Garland’s beautiful song to a 2023 afterparty where’s its 7am and there is light coming though the blinds is the kind of moment I can really get behind.”

Having just watched her mother celebrate her four decades-and-counting reign as the Queen of Pop™ with a stage show that pays tribute to her earliest days in New York City forging friendships with artists and cutting her first records, it feels only too fitting to watch Lola doing the very same thing and coming into her own as a musician right now.

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Photo credit: @indiana420bitch

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