We all have different ways of dealing with seasonal depression. For example, the way I get through the punishing and disheartening six month long summer of Southern California involves staying inside almost always and spending an inordinate amount of time at indoor malls in a sweater forlornly nursing some sort of frozen dessert. Other people are productive. Take Rachel Gagliardi, of one of our favorite bands, Slutever, who recently moved from Los Angeles to Philadelphia. As a pre-emptive strike against the inevitable cold dark winter of Pennsylvania (I guess some people like the sun), she started her new project Pouty, and thank goodness not everyone handles every issue by staying indoors watching 30 Rock while eating blocks of cheese, because this first song “Sad” from Pouty is sweet and wistful and lovely (much like certain kinds of cheese, actually).
Here’s the director, Emily Alben, talking about the video:
“Not happy, but at least all sad together” was how I offhandedly ended the treatment I wrote for Rachel when pitching her my idea for ‘Sad’. I’d never directed a music video before, but my photography and aesthetic are very much inspired by cinema, and if there’s a narrative that comes through, its almost always from a female perspective. With this video, I wanted to flush out those tangential narratives as characters who became the LA sad girl archetypes. The idea of place, and the space each of these characters would inhabit was equally important, and I drew from my own map of Los Angeles memories like Echo Park lake and a pink floored Vintage Store, to more iconic spots like Barnsdall Art Park, with its view of the Griffith Observatory and Hollywood Sign, and Moonlight Rollerway’s alluring neon rainbow entryway.
I think as women in LA we’re all seeking an illusive something, but its impossible not to get caught up in the day to day. Rachel’s cult girl character and her awakening that the other girls see manifested in the crying eyes bring them together, and in a way making this video did the very same thing. As I drove the “sad actress,” a real actress and comedienne, Lila Mensing, home from the shoot, she spoke to me about car troubles, boy stuff, being broke… After dropping her off, I drove down Hollywood Blvd just as a purple dusk was setting in, and realized how true that original sentiment, “not happy, but at least all sad together” was. Even though we had zero budget and shot the video during a punishing heat wave, we were able to create something a little bit magical. And that ice cream makes everything better too.
You can watch the video, which also features artwork by Faye Orlove, and appearances from Mukta Mohan and other members of the Honey Power Collective, as well as tons of Crap Eyewear sunglasses, below: