In anticipation of the August 11 release of 2014 and 2015 EPs Who’s Smoking Your Spirit and Wholes as a combined vinyl record, D.C.’s Big Hush has released a music video for Spirit‘s standout track, “Cough.”
Big Hush dabbles with a few distinct sounds on the not-quite four-minute long track; there’s the bleary rock sound punctuated by stumbling drums that dominate the introduction. There is a brief section of crisp clarity when the lead guitar disappears, and there are glorious clumps of garage rock breakdowns where light backing vocals sit above the fuzzy fray of drones and cymbal crashes. It’s a kind of pastiche of early ’90s lo-fi rock held together by what feels like an all-too-modern anxiety, and the band keeps things lively, even when the beat is downtempo, by zipping from idea to idea.
The video mimics the sound of “Cough” in its back-to-basics sensibilities. There are only two settings in the video: one overwhelmingly white and clean, and the other bathed in a dark green light. But while the backdrop of the video is muted, the expressiveness of the characters is massive.
As a young girl and a young woman take turns emoting through dance in the spotlight, every stomp and grimace seems to take up the entire screen. But just as in the song, there is detail to be gleaned from the background. The young girl who is bouncing, kicking, and dancing her way around the room is trying to get the attention of an adult whose head is wrapped in newspaper. The young woman who is clutching at ghosts alone does so in a room with walls covered in newspaper.
“Cough” is like a burst of angst that can’t be attributed to a single direct cause. There are only hints of a story, but the emotion is real. It’s not always the time for self-evaluation. Sometimes, you just have to make noise.