One of the most loved bands on the thriving London-DIY scene, Charmpit are the, well charming, Anglo-American punk band of your dreams. Now expanded to a quartet with the addition of guitarist Estella Adeyeri, known for her work with Big Joanie and Witching Waves, the band recently released their new cassette, Squirrel Away The Summer, on Everything Sucks Music, and today we’re premiering the video to lead track, Squirrel Vision.
The band recently explained the track was, “about a manic phase, following a major depressive episode, when you can finally leave the house and the world is wondrous and you’re horny for all its majesty”. Perhaps more surprisingly for such an upbeat, sunshine-pop track they also throw in an Elliot Smith reference into the lyrics, “I’m in love with the world through the eyes of a squirrel”, nodding to the majestic Say Yes.
The accompanying video is a blast of Californian sunshine; Anne Marie and Rhianydd hitting the beach, instruments in hand, in their own ebullient fashion. Read on for both the band and the director, Hallie Bateman, discussing the video.
Charm pits Anne Marie Sanguigni
“Rhianydd & I had been separted by the Atlantic for two months, I was living in California again. Was a bummer to be without my best friend & ❤ creative partner, the Ashley to my Mary-Kate. BUT then Rhi came to Cali and we were in the same place for two days…& Hallie was just like heck ya to our rushed music video dreams.”
“It’s amazing to get to an age where you know so many great women that inspire the crap out of you, Hallie and Rhi hadn’t ever met before the day we made this vid, but to see two people I admire so much just be creative geniuses and so silly and playful together – was a real treasure of a day. And that’s what we’ve always liked doing in our music videos, different friends that we don’t always get to hang with having a play date basically.”
“We told Hallie we were wanting to basically make a CHARMPIT sitcom, and she just totally got it. She’s asked where we’d hang in our show? & obvs BEACH & MALL. So we went to our happy places and quite literally pranced around for 3 hours and – HERE U GO?!”
Director Hallie Bateman
“Recently, while walking around New York listening to an interview with Jay and Mark Duplass, I had an a-ha moment. They talked about their first feature film. They spent something like $70,000 making it. It was this herculean effort. And it came out flat. Just emotionally dead. Afterwards, they were despondent, sitting around their parents’ house, watching Coen Brothers’ movies and “wondering where we’ve gone wrong.”
Suddenly, Mark looked over at Jay and said, “we’re making a movie today.” And with their parents’ video camera, they made the short film that got into Sundance. They said it was terrible quality. There was even a dead pixel in the middle of the frame. But they captured some magic that day, and that’s what came through.
It made me realize that I’ve been so hung up on my fear, my lack of expertise, the fact that I didn’t go to film school, the fact that I don’t know anyone in the industry — I’ve been convincing myself that the movies I make when I’m having fun can’t be the same movies I make when I’m trying to be a filmmaker. I have not been celebrating the freedom my ignorance gives me. Knowing nothing and nobody helped me believe I could be an illustrator. Why can’t those same limitations now help me believe I can be a filmmaker?
Part of achieving any far-off dream, I’ve found, is talking about it A LOT. Even if you are embarrassed. Even if you’re so far from doing the thing you want to do that it sounds ridiculous for you to say: “I want to be a director.” This is something I’ve been doing for the last few years. But after listening to that interview, I felt a renewed desire to really throw myself into my fears.
A few weeks ago, I was catching up with my friend Anne Marie, who’s living in Venice for a couple months for work. She’s based in London where she is part of pop-punk band Charmpit. As she was telling me about her band’s new single, I found myself saying, “If you ever need a music video, I’d love to make you one!” (When I was first getting into illustration I used to do the same thing. I’d meet a musician and ask, “Can I draw a show poster for you??”)
Anne Marie was totally into it, and we set a day to film. I was nervous to make my first video for a real band — so nervous that I spent a whole therapy session talking about it. But I knew that this fear was good. I need to put myself in uncomfortable situations in order to push through my fear again and again.
So earlier this week, I drove to Venice with my mom’s old flip-cam and a couple borrowed instruments. I met up with Anne Marie and her bandmate Rhianydd. We spent the day running around Venice beach, and then a shopping mall. They are such hilarious and natural performers. It was incredible to say “3, 2, 1” and suddenly they were ON.
Anne Marie and Rhianydd sang ankle-deep in the waves, hung from monkey bars with their instruments strapped on, and choreographed a dance routine right in the middle of a shopping mall. I filmed with my little flip-cam and it reminded me of the many movies I made when I was a kid. The safety of that. The feeling of having ideas on the fly that you try and they WORK! I loved the collaboration of it, the surprises, the self-reliance.
I am so grateful to Charmpit for trusting me with this project. And I’m not surprised, either, that they said yes. I think the punk scene is a perfect place for someone self-taught like me. It’s fine if it doesn’t look perfect. It’s all about D.I.Y.!”
The video release coincides with the band’s Squirrel Away The Summer tour, many of the dates alongside fellow London DIYers, Wolf Girl. We can’t recommend getting along to their life affirming live show highly enough, full dates below.
Squirrel Away The Summer is out now via Everything Sucks Music. Click HERE for more information on Charmpit.
Click HERE for more information on Hallie Bateman
Squirrel Away The Summer Tour