Watch the Philly band triumph over the fear and anxiety of a failed party
Photo by Emily Burtner
Philadelphia based Littler’s latest EP Bad Hand is largely an expression of how to cope with coming of age in the economic and political anxieties of our time. Whereas their previous record Of Wandering held out a hope for the coming years, Bad Hand faces the cold facts, from seemingly small social anxieties exacerbated by the digital age, to larger questions of finding a self in a world constantly delegitimizing all possible choices. Even as they get deeper, though, the band never loses their talent for catchy, addictive songwriting. Songs like “Running Hot” and “Oversteeped” highlight their knack for tight vocal lines and harmonies, and even noisier tracks like “Out of Your Rib” carry us through with melodic guitar lines and rhythmic shouts.
In their EP’s first video, “Running Hot,” the band hosts a party and becomes increasingly obsessed with the fact that no one seems to be showing up. They agonize over their Facebook invite list, message supposed “Going” friends when they don’t arrive on time, and fall into bored despair as their event seems destined for failure. Of course, redemption emerges in the form of dismissing the petty quest for popularity, as the band decides to go perform and appreciate each other regardless of their social clout. As the video’s director Dylan Meyer (the sister of guitarist and vocalist Madeline Meyer) told us, “[The video addresses] the universal let down of throwing a party that no one comes to. It channels some John Hughes vibes about expectation and disappointment and takes you on a journey everyone’s familiar with – a comedic romp through the desire to be liked, and the necessity of creation for the sake of creation, audience be damned.”
For Littler, just making the video reflected its themes of prioritizing loved ones and the creative process itself. Madeline explains: “Dylan and I grew up obsessively watching Clueless, Can’t Hardly Wait, etc. and the video was very informed by that. We have been very lucky in this EP cycle to have so much of our stuff, whether it be our album artwork (made by Anne, our drummer), or this video (also edited by our guitarist Dan), or new tour shirts (designed by our former drummer Robyn Campbell) be made by our loved ones and it feels really special to be supported by them and support their work in turn.” It’s all one of the many bits of hard-won wisdom from Littler’s latest work. Go see the band on tour this month on the West Coast: