Hot Garbage Flex Their Freedom to Cruise in Their New “Ride” Video

The title track from the Toronto psych-rockers arrives today with a hazy visual directed by Colby Richardson.

Something about reading the word “freedom” while living through our current global pandemic has started to have the same effect on me as seeing an American flag—the term isn’t inherently sinister, but it’s generally come to symbolize the terrible ideas deployed by the faction of our population that seems to understand symbolism the least. Yet with their new single “Ride,” Toronto psych-rockers Hot Garbage invoke a pre-pandemic and probably more universal definition of the term, one that feels rooted in the responsibility-free era of teenhood. 

“It’s basically about freedom,” vocalist Alex Carlevaris confirms of the track before noting the irony of it being written right before COVID hit. “The freedom to go for a ride, to drive into the night, and to not know all the answers.” Carlevaris and co-vocalist Juliana Carlevaris express these freedoms in a monotonous incantation familiar to the psych-rock canon while droning guitars and sedated drums complete the formula. Constant plinking synths, however, set the track apart from much of the output of HG’s peers while adding a hint of surrealist sci-fi influence to the recording. 

Arriving today with the single is a visual created by Colby Richardson which aims to recreate this specific sense of acid-addled surrealism. “Red, white and black form the foundation of this highly stylized lo-fi ride through freeways and feedback,” he shares. “Shot entirely off of a monitor with a camcorder, found footage of highway driving, and phone videos of lead vocalist Juliana Carlevaris are repeatedly processed through an analog-video color corrector. The final look presents a somewhat alien depiction of Carlevaris. Surrounded by a melting frame, the protagonist guides us through a constantly traveling and morphing horizon.”

Watch the video below.

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