Photography: Jason Travis
What do you get when you mix girl group harmonies, punk rock riffs and a beach day? The Coathangers‘ new “Perfume” music video. Directed by Jason Travis, the visual shows the Atlanta-based trio in a just the right amount of kitschy summer cliche, singing “Perfume” as they float on surfboards and a catamaran. The track itself, off last year’s Nosebleed Weekend, blends shimmering melodies with guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel’s forlorn lyrics, simultaneously making “Perfume” the anthem and the antidote for seasonal depression. Along with bassist Meredith Franco’s catchy harmonies and Stephanie Luke’s peppy drums, the song would make even the saddest goths want to go to the beach.
Watch the BULLETT premiere of “Perfume” below, and read our interview with Kugel.
Tell me about “Perfume.” What inspired it?
The song was inspired by a summer European tour—it was a difficult one and taught me a lot of lessons. It was an ending and beginning feeling that came about when I started jotting down the lyrics in my bedroom. I was in california at the time, where it’s eternally summer, and it was odd because it definitely felt like I was holed up in the dead of winter.
How does it fit in with the rest of Nosebleed Weekend?
It’s kind of an oddball song—groovy and reflective, and almost didn’t make it on the record, to be honest. But it’s sincere like the rest of the album, and really rounded out the sentiment. Songs like “Perfume” and “Copycat” give Nosebleed Weekend mood and dimension.
What were you able to do on that album you haven’t been able to do with others?
It was our first time recording in California with producer Nic Jodoin, which allowed us to expand our perception of ourselves. It was pretty challenging, which was great—we grew as a band, and as players and writers. Plus, we were able to use old equipment like an actual echo chamber which was awesome.
Were you listening to any specific bands or records when you were writing it?
The record was written during a time when we were constantly on the road, so we were listening to ourselves a lot. On the road, we usually listen to the radio, but I can definitely remember listening to The Kinks a lot on the aforementioned Euro tour. Most of the songs are about finding a comfortable place to exist when you live nowhere.
How do you think the band has evolved over the last 10 or so year?
We’ve gotten more confident and comfortable as players and writers—and we’ve honed in on our style, which is a reflection of where we are in life.
World domination! And we’re playing a few PBR Fests in Philly.
9/16/17 — Philadelphia, PA — Project Pabst
10/7/17 — Atlanta, GA — Project Pabst