Philly’s Best Bear made their album debut last summer with When, a terrific set of songs rooted in revved-up emo and confessional indie rock. Today, the band releases a new music video for one of the album’s highlights: “Gaslighter,” a high-energy ripper that’s made the rounds on WXPN, both on the Tuesday night Local Show and the daily Local Picks.
According to frontperson and songwriter Blue, the song’s backstory is pretty much contained in the song itself; it’s a true story of a toxic relationship with a person “who turned out to have a lot of narcissistic tendencies, including using the gaslighting tactic to flip every argument or conversation about the relationship or concerns I had into something that was my fault.” In the aftermath of their breakup, Blue says writing the song was a therapeutic process and helped them see the relationship for what it was — manipulative, abusive, and unfair — and it flipped a personal low in to a lively and cathartic song that them and their fan can have fun screaming at shows.
They’ve got a show this Friday — at World Cafe Live’s Lounge stage with Philly friends Squiggler — and on the ramp up to that gig, Best Bear is releasing a new music video for the song. It has even more fun with the concept, with a gaslighting title character (played by Mackenzie Johnson) leading Blue on a wild goose chase via text message, beckoning them to locations around Philly to meet up, but when Blue arrives, they’re never there. (They collect bandmates on the way, though, and end up rocking out to the song together, overcoming adversity through the power of rock.)
The video was failmed by Jay Miller, whose production credits also include work for Ripley, Vita and the Woolf, and Abi Reimold (Miller is responsible for the latter’s iconic “Mask” video). Watch “Gaslighter” below,” and see Best Bear at one of thier upcoming Philly shows — this Friday, May 26th at World Cafe Live with Squiggler, or on Friday June 16th with Ripley at Silk City. Details can be found at WXPN’s Concerts and Events page.