PWR BTTM Brings Some Sparkle To An Abandoned Waterpark
Can two crushed hearts breath life into a desolate, dreary waterpark in the Mojave Desert? If they're PWR BTTM, armed with confetti cannons, glitter and a blasting rock song of lost love, the answer is: Of course they can.
PWR BTTM is a loud, lovable duo from New York with its high-heels planted firmly in The Ramones school of rock. Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce trade off singing, drumming and guitar — sometimes within a single song. Both Ben and Liv wrote to tell me their thoughts on the song and though their comments aren't in conflict, each one's relationship to the song feels a little different. Liv said, "What if you threw a party and no one came? What if your friends were all at the beach and you were at the DMV? What if your crush never texted back? Maybe all you can do is focus on what you like about yourself and try to have a good time alone. This video is about taking authorship of your life, even if you can't fully control which characters stick around."
The video was shot in an abandoned waterpark in the Mojave Desert, which connects to Ben's thought on the song, that it's about exploring nostalgia and "unpacking how even something as complicated as a relationship between two people can be boiled down to one place or memory, so setting those feelings at a place that's frozen in the past felt like a logical fit. Plus, it was colorful."
Director H.S. Naji ties all these ideas together. "I planned for the term 'revisiting desolation' to be the crux of the video," he wrote to me. "The location plays as all those broken promises, false hopes and crushed hearts everyone experiences. We see these two personas walk through that familiar cemetery of attractions — and at least make do with pool paraphernalia and glitter."
The video ends with a faux film rating — Q for Queer — and a note that it may cause hot flashes and boy sweats. Consider yourself warned.
PWR BTTM's under-30-minute debut album, Ugly Cherries, released in 2015, is at the top of the list of my most-listened-to records of 2016, and the band, on tour now with Ra Ra Riot and SUN CLUB, is a blast of glittery fun live. Go get GLTTRD!
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