Lower Dens, “Sucker’s Shangri-La”

Ava Myint

Continuing to reference the past through a dark, humorous lens in their music videos, Lower Dens has released a new video for “Sucker’s Shangri-La,” the opening track off their stunning LP Escape From Evil. The immense pain felt by Jana Hunter and to whomever Hunter is singing to drips off each line in the song (“The devil in me wants to know / So I ask / Is your time running out?”). Hunter explains that it’s a dedication “to a friend about their struggle with addiction, both singing to them and for them.”

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The music video is set in a Chinese, neon-lit karaoke bar. A man holds a microphone in front of a projected screen and sings along to a cheesy music video typically found in karaoke bars. Director Zachary Treitz nails the imitation; there are dramatic shots of Hunter leaning against buildings, gates, and cars inserted between clips of pretty scenery. As the man, played by Hiro Xu, earnestly sings along to Lower Dens’ heart-wrenching lyrics displayed over generically sentimental footage, the music video becomes a weird, beautiful moment of human connection. Let’s hope that this track gets added to your local karaoke bar’s song list as soon as possible.

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