Popstrangers – Rats in the Palm Trees (Music Video)

by Steven Spoerl

Popstrangers’ Antipodes was the first record since Technicolor Teeth’s Teenage Pagans to perfectly blend shoegaze with aggressive post-punk. Antipodes was also one of the first truly great records of 2013, strongly recalling labelmates Cloud Nothings’ Attack On Memory in tone, scope, and production. With a breakthrough record on their plate, it would’ve been understandable for the band to settle down and continue to play up the record for all its intrinsic worth. Instead, the band’s opting for the hyper-production route and has now revealed both an A and B side for a non-album single.

“Fortuna” was a serviceable B-side that showcased the band’s dream-punk underpinnings.  The A-side, “Rats in the Palm Trees” is a different beast entirely. On “Rats” the band settles back into their deepest strength; melody. “Rats in the Palm Trees” boasts a catchy chorus, several memorable moments of guitar work, some controlled frenetic drumming, and a driving bass line. It’s one of their best and suggests a long future. To accompany the song’s aesthetic the band released a music video earlier this week. In the clip, the band mostly incorporates low-grade footage of themselves playing their instruments and exploring London, where they recently relocated to.

Moving looks to be a smart move for the band as their tendencies and London’s play very well into each other. There’s a certain sense of minor foreboding, small-scale industrialism, and an endless amount of opportunity. It’s easy to see them finding comfort in their new home, the video already seems to suggest they’re in the midst of a contented transition. Watch it all below.