Canadian indie-pop ensemble Stars just released a video for “Backlines,” a single from the band’s latest album, The North (available for purchase here). More than anything, the clip is a study in contrasts. While the instrumentation is an up-tempo jumble of major chords and happy sounds, the lyrics are melancholy and the vocals sound like a cry for help (“You’ve got power, pressure when I have too much to lose / the stakes are high, my mind is twisted and the pressures up”). The band shrinks down to perform in a tiny mechanical wooden theater, while wooden dinosaurs and toy tanks roam the landscape around them.
Ultimately, in this tug-of-war between joy and destruction, the former wins for vocalist Amy Millan. “Your best way out of an anxiety attack is to blare this song,” she tells Rolling Stone. “Grab your friends and dance around your bedroom.”