Death Valley Girls have a knack for hypnotizing listeners with droney power guitars (courtesy of Larry Schemel) and incisive lyrics stabbing at your apathy (it’s a good pain) by singer-guitarist-keyboardist Bonnie Bloomgarden. In their new single, “Dream Cleaver,” a tenor saxophone also provides a soulful throughline alongside the driving rhythms of bassist Nikki Pickle and “The Kid” on drums, perhaps a tip of the hat to Poly Styrene and X-Ray Spex (for those who like to wax nostalgic). The song is an anthemic call for all in the age of hacking to live their own authentic life and take hold of what they really want out of their time in this dimension.
“Live just for yourself / Nobody else will ever know / We are just one / Do all you can before we go …” Bloomgarden sings. “Close your eyes / And decide / Go back into your life / You’ll steal it / When you believe it / It’s yours to find…. Life is not a dream / Love is really happening / Time isn’t real / It won’t be long before it’s gone.”
The video, directed by Casey Rup, aims for a 35mm vintage feel and interchanges horror film tropes (featuring the youthful Milo Stein wearing a Halloween mask jabbing at a red-fleshy watermelon) and low-fi footage of the Death Valley bandmates as masked witches donned in white dresses foraging in the woods (for candles, fungi, tarot cards, crystal balls, the odd book about the Rolling Stones) and boiling it all in a cauldron while they cast a spell for self liberation.
“Dream Cleaver” is out on Friday on all digital platforms via Suicide Squeeze, and Death Valley Girls will embark on North American tours supporting the Distillers, Moonwalks, Craig Brown Band, Big Business, Frankie and the Witch Fingers, Rocket From the Crypt and Crocodiles (co-headlining) throughout August, October and November.
||| Watch: The video for “Dream Cleaver”
||| Live: Death Valley Girls co-headline with Crocodiles at the Constellation Room on Nov. 3 (tickets on sale Friday at 10 a.m.) and the Lodge Room on Nov. 23 (tickets on sale Friday at 10 a.m.). Kate Clover opens.