AJR naviagtes the offbeat middle period between childhood and adulthood, seizing on this sometimes awkward life transition period with a “Bang!” in the indie pop trio’s new single and video released on Wednesday (Feb. 12).
A mysterious horn beat outlines the playful verses about how the brothers — Ryan, Jack and Adam Met — are pulling off the whole grown-up thing, from putting “quinoa in my fridge, still I’m not feeling grown” to feeling “like I’m gonna puke ’cause my taxes are due.” But the chorus features a more upbeat “theatrical trap” melody, as the group describes it, in an attempt to fake it ’til they make it.
“We wrote ‘BANG!’ about the weird middle ground between being a kid and becoming an adult; a time when we’re doing all the things adults are supposed to do, but we don’t yet feel grown up,” AJR said in a press release. “The fact is, adulthood is bound to hit us at some point, so the plan we made in the song is to ‘go out with a bang.'”
The accompanying visual, directed by Se Oh, has a rich flair to it, as AJR hosts a dice game with strangers in a chandelier- and bouqet-embellished parlor. But the way these characters go out with a bang doesn’t have to do with adulting at all, but is similarly all too strange and abrupt: They transform each time the camera zooms in and out on the handsomely dressed brothers, modeling everything from animal heads, to surgical scrubs and, yes, their birthday suits.
“We wanted to approach the ‘Bang!’ visuals with a retro, Wes Anderson style,” they explained. “Much like the song, we wanted to put AJR in this unpredictable new setting, watching these surreal characters dance around us.”
Watch AJR’s “Bang!” video below.