Denton-based psych rock group Pearl Earl is back with a new single and a music video to go along with it. The video is a collaboration between Pearl Earl and videographer Kylie McLaughlin.
The single, "Something’s Gotta Change," is about knowing a certain lifestyle can’t continue as it is, but still being stuck in that cycle. “It’s questioning whether you’re losing your mind, or is the feeling just a phase?” says lead vocalist and guitarist Ariel Hartley.
The track's lyrics, “Is it just a phase / is it just my age / is it a coming of age / am I insane,” speak to questioning where you are in life. “You know something has got to change. You have to break the pattern or cycle,” Hartley says.
Hartley wrote the song five years ago when the band was first starting. They recorded it a year ago, but their schedule was too busy to accommodate a release.
"We haven’t released music since 2017 because we’ve been busy touring and playing a lot of heavy shows,” Hartley says. “We were working on new material, but it takes awhile for things to get the way you want them to be presented. The music video was the first time we’ve made something on just a whim.”
McLaughlin messaged the band on Instagram and said she wanted to create something with them. “I think it’s really inspiring to work with artists who want to work with you because they like your music," Hartley says. "I love seeing what art comes out of it.”
“I messaged them and told them I was a big fan,” McLaughlin says. “I just graduated from UNT with a degree in film, and I’d always wanted to make music videos. They messaged back and were really excited about it. Once we started working together, we became friends and we connected.”
They shot the music video over six months.
“We tried to make something that was visually appealing, based off whatever we could come up with that day,” Hartley says. “All the girls are together, talking on the phone. It’s supposed to look like a sleepover or a sitcom.
“It’s a whimsical collage of us hanging out, it’s us not taking ourselves seriously. We tried to make it seem timeless. For each set we curated a quick idea and then tried to keep it within a certain aesthetic.”
Director McLaughlin gets visual inspiration from the '80s and '90s. “I’m also influenced a lot by Pop Art,” she says. “And colors have always been a big staple of my work.”
McLaughlin is a freelance videographer who has a passion for music. “My favorite part about the process is working with musicians,” she says. “I don’t make music myself, but I’ve always been in love with music. My favorite thing to do is work with musicians to bring visuals to auditory art. That’s what I hope to keep doing for other musicians. If could do music videos full time, that would be the dream.”
The band learned an important lesson after posting a behind-the-scenes video to Instagram. “There’s a part where we’re smashing those old TVs,” Hartley says. “It’s about how TV can brainwash you, and we’re smashing them. A lot of people responded to our Instagram story, saying how dangerous and harmful that is to do, especially when the TVs are on.”
“It was really fun and exhilarating,” Hartley says of the process. “None of us knew what was going to happen. It was really hard to bust through the screen; it took a few times. We really didn’t know it was dangerous, though.”
Pearl Earl and McLaughlin are already collaborating on another video for an upcoming Pearl Earl single. They’ve finished two shoots and have one more yet to do. McLaughlin hopes the relationship will continue after this next video, as well. “We really get along,” she says.
Pearl Earl is taking the summer off to work on more music. Hartley has already written an entire album of songs, and the band will spend time learning them and working on them together. “Hopefully we will start recording in the fall,” says Hartley. “We hope to release another album next summer. And we really want to get to Europe. That’s another one of our main goals, to tour in Europe.”
Watch the video below: