Sparks fly in Death Cab for Cutie‘s latest music video — literally. Released on Wednesday (June 1), the Washington-based rock band’s new visual for their recent single “Roman Candles” is filled with colorful smoke and exploding pyrotechnics, so much so that the group’s five band members had to wear protective gear while shooting it.
Directed by Lance Bangs and shot in the handheld style of “found footage” film, the “Roman Candles” video finds lead singer Ben Gibbard, bassist Nick Harmer, drummer Jason McGerr and guitarists Dave Depper and Zac Rae performing the song outdoors as ominous-looking jumpsuit-wearing crew members begin covering their faces with gas masks. Once the gear is on, an onslaught of shooting fireballs and erupting sparks descend on the group, becoming more and more apocalyptic as smoke increasingly blasts in the musicians’ faces.
“But I am learning to let go,” Gibbard sings as he’s pelted sparks. “Of everything I try to hold too long ’cause they all explode like roman candles.”
“I think we got it!” he laughs at the end of the performance, just before the video cuts.
The band posted about the video to their Instagram, where they thanked Bangs and confirmed that the fiery effects were anything but fake. “We had a legitimately thrilling time filming this,” their caption reads. “These explosions happening all around us were very real!”
“Roman Candles” serves as the lead single off Death Cab’s upcoming tenth studio album, Asphalt Meadows — for which they’ll embark on a United States tour immediately after its Sept. 16 release. The leading track was written by Gibbard feeling anxiety over watching society crumble during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“‘Roman Candles’ is about the crippling, existential dread that goes hand in hand with living in a nervous city on a dying planet,” read a prior statement from the band. “And that the only way to be in the moment is to let it all go.”
Watch Death Cab for Cutie’s explosive new music video for “Roman Candles” below.