After Soul Low came out of nowhere with its incredible debut, UNEASY (a debut that’s firmly a top 10 local album this decade) in the summer of 2013, the city that had just met the indie rock prodigies—who, at the time, had just one member of legal drinking age among their ranks—was left to wonder how they would follow up their impressive introduction. Instead of getting bogged down with expectations of echoing UNEASY, the members of Soul Low took an easy, carefree approach of doing whatever the hell they wanted, when and how they wanted to do it.
The latest in a growing collection of fun-loving music videos from the oft-Hawaiian-shirt-clad band with a penchant for having mannequins crowdsurf at their shows, is a sleek sounding ode to one of the libations that helped put Milwaukee on the map. “Blatz Beat” is the first visual volley in a four-video attack that will precede the release of band’s long-anticipated follow-up EP, Kind Spirit, January 3, 2015. Bassist Sam Gehrke calls the ode to the underrated bargain brew “an anomaly” on a limited edition EP/DVD otherwise populated with themes of heartbreak, the death of a friend, and relationship uncertainty.
Fortunately, the early-issued outlier and the songs’ accompanying video are fun enough to counter the downcast installments that await. Captured in a north side warehouse in September, the Dan Black-directed, Phillip Hoffmann-shot music video features Soul Low, an equally-well-dressed cast of friends, and (you guessed it) a lot of Blatz. Why Blatz?
“We wanted to do a bizarre, costume-themed video celebrating a beer that helped write much of the next [full-length] album that’ll hopefully be out next summer,” Gehrke says. He also quotes an explanation from Soul Low singer Jake Balistrieri: “It’s the chocolate milk of beers.”
Though Midwest Beat’s ploy for free High Life has yet to yield any complementary cases, maybe Soul Low will have better luck gaining sponsorship from a brand that, frankly, could use the positive publicity. See Soul Low at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn on Saturday, November 1, playing in support of Whips and The Cavewives.