Indie ensemble THE WLDLFE are working their way to the mainstream spotlight with a shimmering new heartbreak jam, and an aesthetically pleasing vertical video to accompany it. The Indiana quintet mourn the end of a monumental relationship with their latest single, “Towel,” premiering exclusively through Billboard today (May 30). However, when it comes to the video, the band implements a slightly satirical twist.
“‘Towel’ was a song that I wrote, and it kind of came together in bits and pieces,” frontman Jansen Hogan tells Billboard. “I kind of wrote the verses at a different time for a different song that didn’t end up working out. Then I wrote the choruses, and it kind of fit perfectly just based on personal experience. We’re really proud of that song. I think it’s really different from what we’ve done in the past and it feels pretty good.”
The clip sees Hogan pour over the emotional rubble that remains after a finite romance. A retro-chic backdrop houses him along with his bandmates: guitarist Jason Boucouras, bassist Jack Crane, drummer Geoff Jones and keyboardist/guitarist Carson Hogan. Surrounded by bold vintage decor, the music video was filmed in a gem of an Airbnb, which the band scored in a small town just outside their homeland of Indianapolis.
Rather than depicting a complex story, the “Towel” video, directed by Brad Wong, incorporates multi-dimensional, screen-within-a-screen effects that evoke plenty of visual interest despite the simplicity.
“A lot of the ideas conceptually about the video were just about the editing and the post-production more than the idea itself,” Hogan continues. “We just wanted something super simple for it because the song feels pretty simple. I think we captured that pretty well with the video.”
The vertical video method — as famed by the likes of Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Shawn Mendes — was one that especially intrigued the guys of THE WLDLFE. Despite jumping on the trend bandwagon, the editing and filming techniques set “Towel” aside from its up-and-down predecessors.
“Just the trend in general I think is really cool,” Hogan mentions. “Especially when most of the time, people are on their phones.”
As Hogan poignantly croons “I’m not ready to throw in the towel and give up on you,” a fishbowl is used as a repeated visual element. While its meaning truly isn’t very deeply rooted, it adds a level of whimsy the band was hoping to accomplish to juxtapose the lovelorn lyrics.
“I think it really is just representative of the song,” Hogan explains. “It’s supposed to be a little satirical in the sense that it’s obviously not about a fish, but I think that kind of brings a lighthearted humor to it. It makes it a little more interesting throughout the video, and a little funny too.”
Having recently supported fellow indie act COIN as well as finding themselves on Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist, THE WLDLFE have garnered a great deal of underground buzz to keep them riding the high throughout the year. On September 7, the band will get to check another achievement off their to-do list: their first-ever hometown headlining show. But even considering the coveted accomplishments now within their reach, the band remains humble.
“I truly think that one of the best things about us is that we genuinely just love doing this,” Hogan says. “I think that people latch on to us because you see that we’re not that cool at all. I know that everybody has the cliche of ‘I’m just like you, we’re just normal dudes.’ But I really feel like we’re just extra normal dudes.”
Watch the “Towel” video below.