As has been the case for all touring musicians, Laura Jane Grace saw her 2020 go up in smoke in light of the ongoing pandemic, as travel restrictions and health department orders have prevented either of her bands, the punk mainstays Against Me! and her side gig Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers, from going on the road. On top of this, Grace was slated to record a new album for Against Me!, which would be the follow-up to 2016’s Shape Shift with Me, and with the pandemic raging on here in the States, particularly in the band’s native Florida. Left without much other recourse, Grace decided to record her first solo album, Stay Alive, which released just a few weeks ago via PolyVinyl Records.
Coming from that album is “The Swimming Pool Song,” for which Grace teamed with Emulsion Lab to release a music video for. The video, clocking in at just two minutes, takes a swipe at horror tropes, as a blood-covered, short-haired woman (Hannah Gamble) is being chased by a cloaked killer (Grace) before tripping on precisely nothing. As the dress-clad girl seems to accept her fate, the killer turns around and walks away, revealing a mask that is less Ghostface and more haunted house prop, as the song moves into the second verse. The killer then makes faces at the camera, crouching around like she was in Dead by Daylight before raising her hands in a “BOO!” motion as the song goes into its final repeated line of “the song that feels like the death of everything.”
In one way, this feels like an allegory for this year: we think it’s going to be the end of the world as we know it (and no, we don’t feel fine), but cooler heads prevail, if only for a moment, killing off the suspense, or at least holding it off for a little while longer.
Purchase the album and/or any of the associated merch here.
See the horror-spoofing video for “The Swimming Pool Song,” taken from the album Stay Alive, below: