Lower Dens, “To Die in L.A.”

Bryn Lovitt

The official video for Lower Dens’ “To Die In L.A.” is a four-minute fever-dream of Hollywood cliches and unchecked self-indulgence, where warped idealizations of life in Los Angeles exact bloody revenge on a clueless femme-fatale. The shimmery single by Lower Dens is visually reflected in the camera’s crystalline filter as the video moves in tandem with the song’s emotive arcs. At one point, Jana Hunter’s lyrics double as the ingenue’s Oscar’s speech from her apartment balcony to a pile of trash. Directed by creative multi-hyphenate Cody Critcheloe, also known as SSION, he claims to have “really connected with the song when Jana sent it to [him].” Critcheloe said, “I’d been spending a lot of time in LA. The song inspired me to write the treatment around my friend/muse/singer/actress/goddess Actually Huizenga. She’s this quintessential 80s LA summerbabe in the video, simultaneously delusional and intelligent, dressed up in all of my current obsessions/impressions of LA as an outsider…”

According to Jana Hunter, Critcheloe was the perfect person to, “translate this ode to reckless firebrands.” When said firebrand goes from clutching her magic 8-ball to floating with a dead animal carcass in a fancy pool, Critcheloe creates an apt allegory for an all-too familiar plot-line of the fallen Hollywood starlet. The song itself is equally heartbreaking with cavernous vocals leaps and tremulous guitars that sound as if they’re weeping.

Lower Dens’ forthcoming album, Escape From Evil, will be available from Ribbon Music on March 31.

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