Local quartet Bugsy‘s latest music video, for “overwhelming,” features the band spitting out plastic spiders and taking baths in blazers alongside rubber snakes. The band’s debut EP, Teratoma, was released just over a year ago and their latest single “overwhelming” features the band’s signature lively guitar riffs and sweeping vocal harmonies.
The music video was shot by members of the band with help from vocalist and guitar player Emily Schoonover’s roommate, Evv Speers, and edited on iMovie. The concept for the visuals came about as a part of the project’s DIY approach.
“Me and my bandmate Shannon basically went to the dollar store and said ‘we’ll figure it out at we go,'” Schoonover said. “I think that tends to be the theme of all the videos we make, things just come together organically.”
The absurd cuts of the band alongside emotive scenes in the bathtub exemplify the line repeated in the chorus, “everything is overwhelming,” as the song builds and swells.
“Searching for meaning in something that doesn’t really have any is very reflective of how I think, and in that way, our DIY style of making videos has helped them feel genuine,” Schoonover said.
With the candid shots of members of the band laughing and eating lollipops while clustered together on a couch, Bugsy’s approach gives their listeners a chance to get to know the band on a personal level.
“I always try to make videos when I can, especially right now,” Schoonover said. “Since there are no shows it feels like the best way to help people connect with us.”
Bugsy’s video making doesn’t stop at their music videos, the group have also been active on TikTok. Their posts vary from introductions to their music, to clever observations about musicians and several of their posts have amassed hundreds of thousands of views.
“On Instagram and Twitter most of the people who follow you know you, and for us, we mostly reached people who were already into Midwest DIY,” Schoonover said. “TikTok has helped in organically branching out to people outside of Minnesota in a time when we can’t tour.”
Recently, TikTok has been a growing platform for bands looking to connect with new audiences and numerous Minnesota artists have begun making their introduction to new segments of the online world.
“At the end of the day my goal is not to be a content creator or anything like that,” Schoonover said. “I want to make music and I see social media as a tool to allow me to keep doing that.”
“Overwhelming” was recorded with Bugsy’s September single release, “talk to you”, last March just before the pandemic changed the scope of many musicians plans. The emotionally raw track came from the turbulent period Schoonover was experiencing at the time and offers new insights into themself reflecting on the song a year later as it’s released.
“For me music is always a sort of bookmark of where I was at,” Schoonover said. “Some songs stay relevant for longer than others. Looking back at ‘overwhelming,’ there’s some things I can see myself holding back that I wasn’t even aware of at the time.”
Bugsy will be performing in the sixth edition of The Current’s Sounds Like Home virtual festival on Feb. 27 alongside other local acts including Kid Dakota and Cornbread Harris.
Behind the Scenes is a biweekly, and occasionally more often, feature spotlighting Minnesota music videos. To submit your video for consideration, e-mail fridayfive [at] mpr.org.