Video Premiere: Broken Hearts Are Blue – ‘That’s Just How It Goes’

Broken Hearts Are Blue share the video for 'That's Just How It Goes' from their forthcoming LP for Council Records.

Broken Hearts Are Blue recently unveiled plans to release their third full-length album, Meeting Themselves, via Council Records on March 1. Pre-order the album here.

According to the band, the album’s second single (below) “is a mordantly rendered, doomsday anthem where romance has been traded in for a beach-set dance party on the last night on earth. God is there from the opening line, but they are stewed and legless, negligent, and naked, and in no condition to intervene. So too do the sandy-feet revelers, feel anything but the sweaty hand of Thanatos, clutching at their waists, spinning bodies into their final dervish. The song’s pessimistic depiction of swashbuckling pleasure-seeking on the eve of human ruin is made more palatable because of the charm of the two choruses, and a scorching bridge that reminds the listener of the more animated territory a younger Broken Hearts Are Blue once roamed.”

The track’s accompanying video, beautifully rendered by Leo Buettner, brings this final party a color palate that feels both appropriately contemporary and nostalgic.

From their start in 1995, when they occupied a place in a culture that included then contemporaries Braid, The Promise Ring, Mineral, Christie Front Drive, Jejune, and Jimmy Eat World, Broken Hearts Are Blue’s signature consistency has been its refusal to stay consistent. Their idiosyncratic catalog reflects an enduring preoccupation with exploring the rock and roll form, filling in its near-exhausted but still nimble outline with inspired compositions filled with colorful intertextuality, gallows humor, and personal allusions to place and past. Ever since their debut album, The Truth About Love (1997, Caulfield Records), their songs have vacillated between styles, tempos, emotional textures, and indie rock influences.

The band regrouped in 2018 to release three previously unrecorded songs (Here Is Always NowhereLate Night, Walnut StreetRustbelt Sunsets), plus a brand new one (Murder Mysteries). The experience of writing and recording after more than two decades spurred the geographically dislocated four-piece to continue to develop and share demos from their homes in Los Angeles, Alameda, Minneapolis, and Kalamazoo.

Over the following five years, the band has surpassed their original production, releasing the seven-song Goodbye Bunny Smith in 2020 and the twelve-track Dark Whimsy and Soft Surrealism in 2021.

Their new album Meeting Themselves was recorded in the summer of 2023 at John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone studio in Oakland. Meric Long (The Dodos) served as engineer and producer, while Bay Area multi-instrumentalists Yea-Ming Chen (Yea-Ming and the Rumours) and Anna Hillburg (Shannon and The Clams, Will Sprott, Shannon Shaw and her All Star Buddy Band) were brought in to add their unique flair to several tracks.

These are Broken Hearts Are Blue’s autumn days. And where the sprawling DWSS, whose creation was largely the by-product of a global pandemic, sought a retreat from the external world of disease and political inanity toward a dense, referential landscape littered with cultural signposts, Meeting Themselves exhibits a lighter touch—a truce with what is to come as Generation X seniors.

Photo by August Owczarzak

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