Rivals’ Kalie Wolfe uncorks a whole world o’ trouble in the video for the title track of the Los Angeles group’s debut album, Damned Soul, which is premiering exclusively below.
“The song is a lot about my own personal inner demons and my issues and my problems,” Wolfe explains to Billboard. “And it’s about the people surrounding me and how their lives affect mine, put a negative impact in my life. I wrote it as a way to essentially let go, to say ‘I’m already messed up. I don’t need you to mess me up even more.'” To illustrate that disaffection, Wolfe is depicted lamenting in an empty penthouse bathtub, being ignored by those around her, and performing with the band during the clip.
“We wanted it to be almost desperate in a sense,” Wolfe says. “Having me in the bathtub, it’s like I’m drowning and trying to get free of that. Everyone around me isn’t listening. Nobody’s paying attention. It’s meant to be heavy.”
But Wolfe and company also hope the “Damned Soul” clip sends another message to viewers. “One of the things we try to keep in our music videos is the energy of our shows,” she says. “We always try to include ourselves performing. That’s such a big thing to us as a band, our live performance. That’s where we shine.”
It’s been the reception to “Damned Soul” during those shows, in fact, that led to Rivals determining it would be the next single. “We’re still playing to a lot of people who don’t know who we are or haven’t heard of us,” Wolfe says, “so by that song is when they’re starting to bob their heads and start feeling it. They get into that (song) ’cause it’s on the heavier side of our music. I feel like it’s a song that really hits people and catches their attention.”
With the Damned Soul album out earlier this year, Rivals plans to keep doing that throughout the year with a combination of headlining and opening shows as well as a fall support tour that hasn’t been announced yet. Mostly the group is happy to finally have a full album out after a previous EP, Haunted/Hunted, in 2015.
“It’s been really nice,” Wolfe says, “and kind of weird, in a sense.” Guitarist Micket Woodle adds that, “Having a full album out is kind of like a dream come true, finally. We’ve all been in other bands that have made little CDs and things here and there, but this is the first full album any of us have ever put out, so it’s kind of a big deal for us — especially the fact it’s doing reasonably good. It’s amazing.”