As many indie music fanatics, including myself, would likely agree, one of the genre’s greatest appeals is the unique and often obscure flair for individuality that bands and their songs are proudly shrouded in. Staying true to their sense of self and non-conforming style, Catfish and the Bottlemen has been gaining well-earned recognition across the indie community both in their native UK and abroad since forming in 2007. Originating in Wales, the four-piece band is currently composed of Van McCann (vocals, guitars), Johnny Bond (guitars), Bob Hall (drums,) and Benji Blakeway (bass) who have taken the global stage by storm with sold-out shows and a number of fans that just keeps growing.
With two albums out already, the group is now looking to drop their third album, The Balance, on April 26th which will feature 11 tracks including the singles “Longshot”, “Fluctuate”, and “2all” that 2019 has already seen released. The latest of these, “2all”, dropped March 19th and was immediately accompanied by a music video filmed in the characteristic black and white aesthetic that is typical of previous Catfish and the Bottlemen albums and videos alike.
The Balance Between Love and Loss
Described by frontman Van McCann as a song about lies, loyalty, and love, the video for “2all” was directed by Jim Canty and opens with an aerial shot of the band traversing the wet and rugged British coastline in a vintage Land Rover. Traveling along the shore, the group soon stops at the seaside town of South Shields where viewers are met with all the depth and vivacity of a live Catfish and the Bottlemen performance as they rock the hollow halls of the town’s Amphitheatre arcades with shadows dancing in the background. Filmed from an up close perspective that places the audience at eye level with McCann, a sense of deep longing and disillusion is portrayed through McCann’s unwavering eye contact that seems to draw viewers into the story both physically and emotionally.
Alternating between the intensity of this live action scene, the video continues with the band taking to the road yet again until coming across a bonfire that illuminates the murky coast. Surrounded by couches and chairs that the group readily collapses into, the dancing flames break through the darkness of solitude as they reach toward the sky, reminding viewers of the sense of belonging that can come out of moving beyond a lost love as we search for our home within ourselves and one another.
Leading up to the final month before The Balance is released Catfish and the Bottlemen fans will have plenty of live and televised performances to satiate the very real need for new music in the meantime. Almost halfway through their extensive North American headlining tour which will come to a close at the end of June, the band took time to appear on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! Outdoor Stage for a sold out show on March 20th. After bringing the current tour to a close in Detroit on June 26th, Catfish and the Bottlemen will be returning to the UK where they will headline events such as Citadel Festival in London and TRNSMT Festival in Glasgow.
With many of their shows on either side of the pond already sold out, fans would be well advised to take the leap and get tickets while they still can because as the band continues to grow in popularity, you better believe that admission to these live performances is only going to become more coveted. Should The Balance continue along the same trajectory as previous releases, the entire world will soon know the name Catfish and the Bottlemen and I, for one, plan on supporting them every step of the way.