“I’ve got my own marching band/Guess I lost my give a damn,” snarls Kassi Ashton in her current single “Violins,” rebuffing a clingy ex with cool nonchalance. In the song’s new video, Ashton imagines a high school scene where she’s the baddest drum major in town.
“I wanted something — and this fits well with who I am anyway — something between Gwen Stefani, No Doubt days, like punk, when she had the blue hair with the bun and the rhinestones around her eyebrows, and of course the queen Beyoncé,” says Ashton of the video concept. “It was very feminine and very sexy and empowering but at the same time, kiss-my-ass punk.”
With nods to the adolescent narratives of John Hughes’ Eighties output, the Kristen Barlowe-directed clip features a jock in a varsity jacket who figures a mixtape (an actual one on cassette) will be the trick to win her back. Ashton, jumping between cheerleader-punk schoolgirl chic and her sparkly marching band look, is having none of it. In addition to co-writing the song with Natalie Hemby and Luke Dick, Ashton designed and hand-made the outfits for the video, ranging from the cheeky “band” shirts she and her squad wear to the elaborate, feather-tipped hat she dons for the dance scenes she also choreographed.
Those elements, Ashton notes, brings the song to life in remarkable detail.
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“I’m a very, very visual person,” she says. “I see things and explain things always in images. So when it comes to my career in music, it’s definitely no different. Music videos are like perfect storms for me because I kind of get to do all of it, and it’s honestly my favorite thing.”