Back in October, Florida emo quartet You Blew It released Abendrot, their third full-length effort, and their first for Triple Crown Records. The second half of Abendrot is anchored by the longest track on the record, the gradually building “Arrowhead,” the video for which we are premiering above. For the video, You Blew It recruited Josh Coll, whose previously directorial work includes a couple of lush, cinematic videos for his band Foxing.
“We’ve always really admired Josh, especially for his artistic abilities and vision,” You Blew It frontman Tanner Jones said. “We asked him to do the treatment for the video because we trusted him so much. As soon as he signed on, we made it a point to give him as much artistic freedom as possible.”
However, Coll was a little apprehensive to take on the role of writer, director, and co-producer for the video. “My goal was ‘don’t f**k this up,'” Coll said. “This was the first time I’ve gotten a video that I wasn’t involved in, and I just wanted them to be happy. They’re the first band that I’ve said yes to. If I was gonna do a video for them, I wanted one, for them to be happy, and two, for me to make something that felt like it came from my head.” After the band approached Coll for the video, he found himself coming up blank on a potential concept; it took some time sitting with the song and digesting it before certain imagery started popping into his head to compliment the track’s linear, growing feel.
The video depicts a girl with flower buds on her head that refuse to bloom, and her struggle to fit in with two other girls whose dandelion heads are fully bloomed, with all of the flower heads designed and created by Kate Grube, frontwoman for the awesome Chicago powerpop band Kitthawk. As the video progresses, the two “dandelion girls” continue to bully the undeveloped “flower girl,” interspersed with shots of the band performing, and of flowers blooming and decaying. The climax of the video comes when the “flower girl” finally blooms and she returns to find one of the “dandelion girls” lying on the pavement, her yellow head having turned white and frail. Just as the roles have finally been reversed, the video comes to an end.
“I think it’s just essentially acceptance and fitting into one’s own skin, and finding out who you are without seeing it from the perspective of someone else,” Jones said. “We’d never really had a narrative video to that extent, where it was kind of cinematic and derivative of a short film. That was something that we wanted to take a step in the direction toward. All of our other videos have a story line, but not to the extent or depth that this one does.”
Taking cues from Spike Jonze in terms of production, the video was filmed quickly across a freezing wintery Philadelphia, while the indoor shots occupied a tiny, rented Airbnb. “It’s all about not losing that momentum,” Coll said. “We didn’t have that much time, it was cold, and all of our actresses were wearing skirts and short sleeves. So we were thinking ‘how quickly can we do this?’ We’d get them into the car with the heater on, bring them out, shoot it, get them back in the car, map it out some more, shoot it.”
The video is certainly powerful both thematically and visually, and is a perfect visual pairing to the track. “It’s a success if people like it, and it becomes an established part of the band’s aesthetic,” Coll said. “It’s a failure if everyone says ‘this is f*cking weird…’ Unless the band wants to be weird. Then it’s back to being a success.” Check out the video for “Arrowhead” up above.
Abendrot is out now on Triple Crown Records. Stream it below via Spotify.