Why Stardew Valley Fans Love Chappell Roan’s New Banger

If your social media is attuned to gay stuff, pop queens, or Coachella, you’ve probably heard Chappell Roan. The budding pop artist has been making waves on platforms like TikTok with songs like “Casual” and her latest single, “Good Luck, Babe!” Her Coachella performance has also been popping off, especially a clip of her singing the latter song and showcasing her impressive vocal range. The mic was on, friends. But why are we talking about Ms. Roan at Kotaku, a video game site? Because Stardew Valley fans have latched onto her latest hit as an anthem for Haley, one of the women the player can court in the farming sim.The Top 10 Most-Played Games On Steam Deck: November 2023 EditionHaley is a photographer in Stardew Valley’s titular village, and when the player first meets her, she’s a bit cold to them. Because some people like the enemies-to-lovers arc, you can see the appeal in breaking down her walls, finding the vulnerable center, and living happily ever after at your farm. But the angst in the relationship gives players plenty of room to project and fill in the gaps. For queer players, this kind of push and pull naturally invites certain readings, such as someone struggling with who they are and taking it out on someone they might have feelings for. This, on top of Haley’s theorized relationship with Alex, one of Stardew Valley’s possible bachelors, adds more to the reading that her anger comes from a place of her struggling with her identity, and possible attraction to a female player. All of that is, of course, open to interpretation and will vary depending on a specific playthrough. But that reading of the character makes it a perfect fit for Roan’s “Good Luck, Babe!”If you haven’t heard the song, here’s the official lyric video. But the skinny of it is the banger has Roan recount a relationship with a woman who seems to be hesitant about making it official because she’s unsure of herself, and is taking the easier path of compulsory heterosexuality. She’s willing to marry a man if it means living without the scrutiny of being in a sapphic relationship. The bridge pretty nicely sums up the themes of the song:“When you wake up next to him in the middle of the nightWith your head in your hands, you’re nothing more than his wifeAnd when you think about me, all of those years agoYou’re standing face to face with ‘I told you so’”The song’s virality and the Stardew fandom’s uncanny ability to make memes about small moments in the game have resulted in several edits and art using the song to describe Haley’s relationship with a female main character.As a gay man, my only romantic interests when I played Stardew Valley were toward Shane, so I was not tuned into Haley’s story back then. But who among us hasn’t dealt with a possible partner struggling with comphet, and are still waiting for the day they hit us up years later like, “yeah, you were right”? So this trend checks off all my boxes: it’s gay, it uses a banger song by a pop goddess who I feel is going to be huge by the end of the year, and it’s a little angsty. Thank you, Stardew fans, for identifying this and making sure it would overlap with my algorithm enough that I would see it. It’s been a lovely break from all the Jojo Siwa bullshit showing up on my feed these days.Anyway, sing us out, Ms. Roan.

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