Petal's Kiley Lotz makes raw, earnest indie-rock music about mental health issues, romantic longing, and desire. She draws inspiration from varied sources like Queen, Nina Simone, Solange, and Mitski, and the eclectic influences show in her musical styling; her high vocals oscillate between delicate and piercing, always commanding attention over chugging rock guitar riffs and skittering drums.
In her new song, "Better Than You," off her upcoming album Magic Gone, Lotz confronts her anxieties about making and performing music in a scene that can feel less than welcoming. But if the social niceties and performances needed to survive in the music industry are anxiety inducing, Lotz's music itself is the salve. The video for "Better Than You," which was directed by Christopher Good and designed by Andreina Byrne, is a brilliant kaleidoscope of color and catharsis. Full of shots of bright, multicolored streamers, blue lipstick, and carnival games, it radiates pure fun. There are moments where Lotz's anxiety seeps in, like when she plays the role of a mole in a life-sized game of Whac-A-Mole, but for the most part, it is clear that she has happy to be losing herself in her music.
Kiley Lotz says of the video, "'Better Than You' is about my struggle of trying to maintain my love of making music while feeling resentful and cynical of the industry. The album deals with a lot of the events leading up to and after my serious spiral of mental health issues and going into intensive treatment for them. My struggle to want to feel accepted and acknowledged in the music industry, when it felt like no one cared about my well being in that industry, made me angry and sad."
She praises the directors and designers for perfectly capturing this dynamic of "feeling like I need to constantly perform for people or for myself. I loved working with them because my theatre nerd sensibilities got put to use. The theatre is amazing because you create this whole world with some wood and paint and hard work. And from the audience it looks fantastic, and up close you realize the artistry it takes to make those basic materials be so magical. Chris and Andreina did exactly that with this video, with everything from paint to poster board and streamers, they made something remarkable and dynamic."
Check out behind-the-scenes photos from the making of the video, below: