Wild Ones Mix Sweetness With Tension In "They Said" Video

In America, true escape is a fleeting fantasy.

Much like Chvrches, Portland synth-pop dreamers Wild Ones have a lot of tension and darkness hiding beneath its veneer of swollen-hearted joy. For example, "They Said" is a typically warm, lightly buzzy ballad off the group's recent Heatwave EP. But as singer Danielle Sullivan explained to The Fader, the song is actually about "romantic triangular desire and the challenge of having a doubtful third party weighing in on love." The video, directed by Becky Holladay, is imbued with a similarly deceptive sweetness. On the surface, it's about four kids in what appears to be a rural Middle American town enjoying each other's company. But the clip is haunted by the specter of racial intolerance—in the suspicious glares of strangers, in the way a black man and a white woman instinctively duck down in the back of a truck to avoid being seen together when another car rolls by. It ends, jarringly, with a muted scream, suggesting carefree abandon is merely a fleeting reprieve, if not an utter fantasy. But hey, at least you can take cover in Sullivan's blissful melodies, which pull tight like a soft sweater.

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