Video Premiere: Happy Being Sad With Electro-Pop Duo Stereo Telescope’s ‘Fires’


Video Premiere: Happy Being Sad With Electro-Pop Duo Stereo Telescope’s ‘Fires’


Listen, I don’t want to cheer up this morning any more than you do. It’s gray and drizzling a weird mix of snow and rain here in the northeast, of both the literal and metaphorical kind, and the last thing any of us needs is some gladsome electro-pop enlivening our morning. But you clicked on this post, and I wrote it, and Boston’s Stereo Telescope provided the soundtrack, so there’s no turning back now. We’re just going to have to lean into the roseate Ableton and Korg-y bliss of “Fires”, the premiere video from the duo’s forthcoming On and Running record due out in January, and live with the choices we’ve made that have gotten us to this point.

Maybe it’s not all sunny synths and blissed-out co-ed harmonizing, however. The song, as Nikki Dessingue explains, is about the push and pull of romance.

“The song is really all about the difficulties of our interactions as people with different minds and goals, and how crazy it can become when you try to throw romance and long term connection into the mix. It’s coming from a perspective of someone who wants to be settled and happy, and maybe has even found the right person, but can’t seem to stop creating the explosions that pull people apart. Because there can be so much momentary beauty in that chaos. But at the end of it all, you really just want to get yourself right for the right person. It can be a hard habit to break though, pushing the limit, and it’s exhausting.”

Dessingue and Kurt Schneider, who sound like an in-house collab between Owl City and Lights that you don’t want to punch in the face, spent a day traipsing around the city for a peak at how they do.

“The video was shot in Allston, in our practice space, and other spots in the area,” she says. “Kind of a slice of our everyday routines.”

I asked Dessingue to explain some of the scenes in the video.

Where is that walking down the street shot, Allston? Is that where you all live? What’s it like there?
Yeah, we’re walking up Allston Street from our favorite local dive bar, The Silhouette, heading up to the Greenline subway that we always take down to the studio where we recorded much of the album in Charlestown at Chillhouse Studios. Allston is lots of music, underage drinking, sex, drugs, you know the usual. Always something to do.

What’s that fountain? Is that in Boston like down by the Greenway?
That’s the fountain down by the Harbor hotel, like Atlantic Avenue.

Where the fuck is there a merry-go-round around here?
Good question, where the hell did they find a Merry-go-round? First question for your scavenger hunt: go!

Where do you usually shoot pool?
We shoot pool at The Silhouette at random times day or night, we have weird schedules. We bonded over our mutual love of billiards and competing against each other on our first tour, so we play whenever we can. We’re ridiculously well matched. And unstoppable as a team. Find us on tour, try us.

Was that the Green Line you get on there? How did you find a time when it wasn’t jammed up with wiener college kids?
Yep, it usually sucks, but… The same way we can get on the one pool table. Try a Sunday afternoon.

Hear more from Stereo Telescope here.

Follow Luke O’Neil on Twitter.