The Pop-Rock genre has been craving a bit of darkness lately, a bit of honesty and raw emotion to reflect the whirlwind of emotions that was 2020. Looking forward, LA-based Rivals might be just that. This four-piece powerhouse is made up of Kalie Wolfe (vocals), Sebastian Clarke (bass), Micket Woodle (guitar), and Josh Alves (drums), and their energetic sound is both well refined and distinct. Their latest single, “Strawberries”, is a raw and animated Rock n’ Roll fairytale that tells the story of overcoming addiction and the light at the end of the tunnel. The new music video for “Strawberries” is a candy-coated accompanying visual that does nothing except enhance the quality of the track. Full of humor and nuance, the cotton candy fever dream video juxtaposes the Rivals‘ distinct hard-hitting sound; this video is a must-watch.
“Micket wrote [‘Strawberries’] to a Latin-styled beat which gave it this extremely uplifting feeling while also still feeling like RIVALS. In the studio it was a very different vibe for us, we all sat around just so confused about how amazing the song was sounding even though it was so different than our normal style, but we just rolled with it and we’re so glad we did. To our favorite lyric in that song ‘Happy is temporary but I can’t look back,’ keep moving forward and don’t look back!” – Kalie Wolfe
In a pink world where strawberries are contraband, the members of Rivals dive deeper and deeper into a trippy Rock n’ Roll rabbit-hole. Lighthearted metaphors with deeper undertones hit hard in this video, bringing about feelings of childhood curiosity and playful self-destruction. Dime bags full of the heart shaped fruit make their way into the band members tongues, ultimately leading to an uncomfortable situation that ends in tragedy. This video maintains much of the playful tradition of Rivals’ more punky predecessors while still being a unique creative idea in its own right. “Strawberries” is an excellent song but perhaps an even better video, enhanced by the visual presence of all the groups members and their chemistry. Having already garnered significant exposure with their 2018 album Damned Soul, Rivals seems to be hungry to take their music one step further. I predict this will be a big year for the LA nonconformists and we should all look forward to what is next.