Los Angeles garage rock group Death Valley Girls shared a new video for “Little Things,” which was one of the album cuts on Under the Spell of Joy. The full album came out in October 2020 via Suicide Squeeze Records and made it into the top 10 mxdwn’s favorite albums of 2020 list.
The video shows the band members living in the sky. Their faces are overlaid onto cardboard cutouts of stars and they walk and sit about on prop clouds. There are more abstract parts too due to collaging of different cardboard cutouts, the clouds and the band’s faces in bright pinks and greens. It was directed, filmed and edited by Kelsey Hart, aka The Little Ghost. The video ends with a dedication to a friend of the band that they wrote the song for, Troy Michael of Innocent Words.
“We wrote ‘Little Things’ for a friend of ours who has been fighting for his life in physical pain for years,” Vocalist Bonnie Bloomgarden said. “While we talked about how stinky his health and living situation was, he realized how much he still loved dreaming. We both realized if he shifted his focus to the part of his life he loved- even if it was just when he was dreaming/daydreaming, that was perfectly ok! Focus on the little things!”
“I know how it seems/These are the little things/These are the little things in life,” Death Valley Girls chant together. It’s a catchy melody, and the group chorus makes it sound like an uplifting song for young kids. However, there’s some rocking guitar and drums to go along with it, turning the catchy song into something for all ages, since anyone can be inspired by the tune’s lyrics about focusing on the good things. The verses go more into Death Valley Girls’ encouraging words as Bloomgarden sings, “Live in your daydreams/If that’s where you’d rather be.”
“My aim for this video was to reflect the unbridled hope and joy of ‘Little Things’,” Hart added in her part of the statement. “Bonnie and I discuss our dreams daily, so I wanted to create a cartoonish psychedelic dreamscape that invited everyone to dance, sing, and revel in the optimism of daydreaming! In order to keep the production of this video maximally COVID-safe, I used special effects to bring Death Valley Girls together digitally. I was inspired by Teletubbies, public access TV, and Tony Oursler.”
Death Valley Girls formed in 2013 and have released four studio albums, including Street Venom (2014), Glow in the Dark (2016), Darkness Rains (2018) and Under the Spell of Joy (2020). They also shared a two-song EP last June called Breakthrough and performed a special livestream concert last September called Levitation Sessions: Live from the Astral Plane!
In October 2020, mxdwn’s Olivia Duff-Rogliano interviewed Bloomgarden about Under the Spell of Joy and the ways that she and the rest of Death Valley Girls were affected by the COVID-19 quarantine. Bloomgarden discussed the band’s inspirations and said that the vocals were partially inspired by the group singing elements of Ethiopian funk records.
Photo Credit: Boston Lynn Schulz