Sometimes a track is so far left of the current zeitgeist, that it’s a thrill just for that very reason. And Austin’s The Cuckoos have an utterly infectious new single, “She’s Wearing Lipstick (From Someone Else’s Kiss)”—from their forthcoming EP Honeymoon Phases—that has drawn to the surface a love of disco-goth-pop that we frankly never really knew we even had.
Indeed, coming on like an outtake from Long Live the New Flesh, it’s got it all: the galloping drums, the moody keys, the wah-wah guitars, and Kenneth Frost’s anguished, drama-laced vocals. And, of course, the big, ridiculously hooky chorus.
Frost also directed the accompanying video, which BlackBook premieres here. In it, the band is bathed in a sensory overload of psychedelic color washes—perhaps a metaphor for the emotional tumult of the lyrics. The singer explains that it was written, naturally, in the aftermath of a painful lover’s rejection.
“You can’t ever force somebody to love you,” he concedes. “Sometimes you’re just a quick stop on the journey of them figuring out who they truly are.”
He’s also quick to confirm the aesthetic touchstones of both the song and video.
“It was very heavily influenced by 80’s pop ballad/bops like Prince’s ‘Little Red Corvette’ and Rick Springfield’s ‘Jessie’s Girl.’ We tried to convey that aesthetic in the video while trying to keep it in line with our own style. There’s a sincerity and a cheeky silliness to those songs and videos, so we just tried to have fun with it. The scene where Dave smashes his guitar into the mirror like Rick was the most fun to shoot.”