The Dungarees captivate on their nostalgic new single “Don’t Make Em Like They Used To,” which Billboard premieres the video for today (Feb. 4). On the heartfelt ballad, the Canadian group look back nostalgically on the things that left an impact on them: old guitars, cars and country songs. Fittingly, the song was inspired by real-life moments and people.
Filmed at the California/Arizona border by director Travis Nesbitt, the four-minute clip has the band on a road trip as they visit the places a late loved one frequented. “This video is one of our most ambitious endeavors to date,” Robb Angus tells Billboard. “We felt it was necessary to deliver a music video that was as emotionally powerful as the single, and which also provided a touching story that would match the reflective and nostalgic message of the song.”
The song itself was inspired, in part, by the loss of James Murdoch’s three grandparents. He says when sitting down to write the song, he and the band were discussing the idea and importance of foundations and anchors in one’s life: specifically something that makes you feel grounded and at home.
“Sometimes that’s a person who’s been a big part of your life and sometimes it’s something as simple as an old sweater or a car or your guitar,” Murdoch explains. “Personally, I had lost three grandparents in the span of a year and a half, all of whom I was very close with and had been such a solid presence in my life. And that’s who I was thinking of when we wrote the song.
“My grandfather was always a strong believer in taking care of your property and pride in your work. He’d always say: ‘Do it right the first time, and it will last a lifetime.’ As a young man, I never really truly understood what he meant until he was gone, and I realized he had lived his whole life to that mantra.”
It’s that very line from Murdoch’s grandfather that makes it into the song and one of the more poignant moments in the video, where the camera pans to the two men ordering a round of three shots in memory of his late grandfather. Moments later, an old wooden cross is shown on the cliff of a hill in remembrance of another loved one gone too soon.
Bandmate Ben Shillabeer says he hopes that the lyrics of “Don’t Make Em Like They Used To” brings listeners back to a younger time where they were still learning about the world and relationships. Meanwhile, Kiron Jhass says the song represents the evolution of the band.
“We started off only wanting to play rockers and even had an internal band motto of ‘no slow songs.’ That was true to who we were at the time. As we’ve all lived through various experiences, both individual and shared, over the past decade, we have grown and ultimately feel the need to express who we are now,” Jhass says.
This evolution can be heard in their latest single. The video for “Don’t Make Em Like They Used To” is below.