In today's latest "Well, that was unexpected" news, Selena Gomez
just dropped her much-anticipated new song "Bad Liar" after teasing the track via Instagram all last week. It's an intimate, subdued song about being bad at hiding your feelings for an ex-love, all well and good for a typical pop song, but it also has a twist: The whole track is built on the bassline from "Psycho Killer" by the Talking Heads. Anyone well-versed in the CBGB-era New York punk scene probably caught on immediately, but for those who didn't, that is indeed Tina Weymouth's iconic riff from the band's 1977 breakout single, though that's pretty much where the similarities end. Selena and collaborators Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels presumably like the Talking Heads if they used such a huge sample, or at least they really dig that bassline (but honestly, can you blame them?).
Don't worry, Talking Heads fans, there's no need to defend the band's honor and accuse Selena of theft. According to Billboard
, David Byrne enjoyed the song and "wholeheartedly gave his permission" to Selena and her team, while Variety
reports former Heads (and wife & husband) Weymouth and Chris Frantz also gave the song a thumbs-up. Frantz said the song was "a big surprise" and looked forward to "a new generation" being introduced to the Heads, while Weymouth, the one who played the bassline in the first place, kept it humble and classy: "It's good to be appreciated." Listen to "Bad Liar" above, and for reference, listen to "Psycho Killer" below and compare for yourself.