Listen to songs by Slothrust, and you'll hear aggressive sounds that hearken back to early-'90s rock bands like Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr. Listen more closely, and you'll also hear elements of the blues that the band's members learned when they met in their college's jazz program.
Slothrust's new song, "Like A Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone," shows vividly how the band blends those influences. Leah Wellbaum sings with a Pavement-esque slacker drawl. Her bluesy voice slides easily from a seductive purr over lightly driven guitars to a full-throated roar as she begins to shred.
The band's lyrics often conjure nostalgic images of childhood, and the video for "Like A Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone" has a youthful playfulness to match. It opens with a white rose, found abandoned in a public restroom, before a hand takes the rose on a journey through a series of suburban landscapes. In some scenes, the hand is clearly guiding the rose to each destination, while in others the rose seems to move on its own. At one point, it's rolling around on a bed in a pile of dollar bills.
"Taking the same image or object and placing it in a variety of situations has always been something that captivates me," Wellbaum writes via email. "I get off on re-contextualization."
Soon, the rose becomes a microphone as Wellbaum looks up from her bed and sings, mischievously, "Who doesn't love a good cemetery?" right before an engine-like guitar riff revs up into a robust solo.
Wellbaum explains that she shot the video in several locations across the country while Slothrust was on tour late last year. "I felt like I was losing my mind a little bit on that tour, and I found filming this rose to be quite grounding. It also made me laugh, usually alone, which I like," she writes. "The video ends in Missouri with our van being towed away after it caught on fire on the highway. It was a very scary moment, but it really tied together the concept of the video. It was definitely an unexpected silver lining to a traumatic situation. Welcome to it."
"Like A Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone" is the second single from Slothrust's upcoming album Everybody Else, out Oct. 28.