In anticipation for their new album, Ain’t It Nice, coming out April 15th, Mal Blum has released a music video for the track “Candy Bars & Men,” directed by their partner Gaby Dunn. As their sound moves from pure indie rock to that touch of Americana, the video focuses on classically queer elements of the latter.
As the new song shows off Mal Blum’s voice, which has gotten lower since their previous work, every shot savors the masculinity of their role as The Traveler. The shaving scene, shown above, features the slow and reverent movements of the brushing on of shaving cream and the methodical strokes of the straight razor. The framed picture to the side underlines the current of the shot.
The video features Sky Fernandez, pictured here to the right of Mal, playing The Cowboy and The Traveler’s love interest. Here I should probably mention the text underlying the visuals: “Candy Bars & Men,” as the title implies, equates The Traveler’s desire for sugar with their desire for men, like in the line “Never like sugar much, but now and then I need it.” The clearest visual instance of this comparison has various chocolates and candies on one night stand and condoms on the other.
The slow, steady rhythm of the song caries the viewer through this loving but brief moment of queer connection between The Traveler and The Cowboy. By nature, their encounter is ephemeral, and that’s all it needs to be.
You can watch the video here, and while there’s no accompanying visual artistry (aside from the album cover), you can hear the other track released from the new album, “Stockpiled Guns & TV Dinners,” here.
Your DJ/Dinner Companion,