In Difficult Times, “Love Is How We Will Survive” (Various Blonde Single Debut)

There’s something powerful about the video for the latest single from Kansas City’s own Various Blonde. Sure, it employs some of the common tropes we’ve seen with much larger artists (but if the formula works, why change it?) and it’s perhaps not as narrative as seen with other genres. But given the band’s funk-pop approach, the fun and carefree attitude is compelling. A woman dances in a gas station with face paint on, surrounded by masked patrons. All public health commentary aside, the juxtaposition is striking—everyone else seem somber or stuck in routine, but the dancer is free in even the common areas of life.

Arguably, this is the sort of unreal optimism this trio hopes to convey.

I wouldn’t fault you if you expected the cast of the video to be the band itself. In reality, none of the members are blonde, nor is a trio all that “various,” whatever that means. Instead, imagine the aesthetics of Zack de la Rocha hadron-collided into RHCP. This is a group that wears personality on their sleeves.

The song and video overflow with it, too. There’s an intensity to the characters that couples with the gritty groove of guitar and bass. But there’s a level of gloss, too—primarily in the smooth vocals and the use of color in the video. Any degree of darkness isn’t as foreboding as it is inviting; it’s something The Weeknd manages to pull off well, to offer a tangential comparison.

All of this is on the cusp of a new, 11-track LP. While the band has been around for over a decade, this new lineup sees an undeniable modern take on songwriting. And if this is an indication of what the rest of the album might sound like, there’s a lot of crossover potential for fans of pop, rock, alternative, funk, and soul alike. Check out the video for “Love Is How We Will Survive” below.

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