Video Premiere: Sweetie – ‘Showgirl’

Chicago’s vibrant music scene just got a new feather in its headdress. Sweetie, the city’s trailblazing lipstick-punk band, unveils a red hot new single and video, “Showgirl,” out everywhere today. 

Led by frontwoman/guitarist Birdy Vee—with Joe Soldati on upright bass and Ryan G. on drums—Sweetie commands the stage at Chicago venues and glittery drag shows alike. Inspired by the 1995 cult film of the same name, ”Showgirl” showcases the band’s bold sound with soulful ferocity.

Serving as the lead single of the band’s forthcoming second album (out winter 2024), fans can expect a full serving of grit-and-glam attitude. While “Showgirl” is essentially a celebration of empowerment, Vee’s gripping vocals warn listeners that the spotlight is not for the faint of heart.

“At the time that I wrote the song, I was starting to feel the isolation and frustration that can come with being a performer. You are putting your whole heart and all of your energy into this thing, pouring your guts out on stage, and then when it’s all over, what’s left?” Vee said. “The song also parallels a relationship that is in the same vein, something that you are pouring your heart into and from which you are getting very little back.” 

The video was written and directed by drag performer Shaman Goad aka Sindy Vicious, Vee’s beloved “drag mother.” In the first frames of the video, Vee first strums her guitar in front of a white backdrop, which symbolizes purity, a blank canvas.

“This contrasts with the image of the dancing showgirl in the red room, which signifies passion and allure,” Goad said. “The blending of the color palettes, and shots of Birdy wearing red, represent the merging of these contrasting elements, depicting a journey from innocence to experience. The video aims to convey personal growth and the discovery of one’s true self.”

Authenticity and visibility is important to the band and its cohorts. Collaborating with members of Chicago’s diverse drag community, Vee aims to amplify the voices of “women, femmes and thems” on stage and elsewhere. Vee’s own Hands Off Our Fest, centers on bringing marginalized performers to light.

“The stress that women in the music industry are under—and the constant criticism that they face—can be shattering,” Vee said. “In the song, I sing, ‘This will not break me.’ Of course, this is oftentimes easier said than done. But ultimately, ‘Showgirl’ makes it through and comes out stronger in the end. There’s always that tone of resilience.”

Find out more about Sweetie on their Facebook or Instagram pages. New music will be available via Bandcamp.

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