Just about any way you spin it, 2017 has been a motherfucker of a year. While you may be inclined to queue up only your loudest punk records in a quest for musical catharsis, four straight years of headbanging probably won’t offer much relief. Embracing anger might be energizing, but embracing love is uplifting.

It’s in that spirit that Chicago’s hard working, genre-blending Mutts offer the video for their new single, “I’ll Be Around.” The song is a declaration of love and acceptance, delivered with a slightly-grungy, Tom Waits swagger. Frontman Mike Maimone, who also directed and edited the video, is the source of its most powerful metaphor. Between church scenes and images of couples uncomfortable with even the simplest displays of affection in public, Maimone materializes with translucent hands obscuring his face as he sings.

There’s a fitting touch of gospel in the song’s crescendo. A swirling Hammond B3 shines brightly behind backing vocals from bassist Bob Buckstaff and actress/musician Annie Prichard. The couples we’ve been following seem liberated from any previous sense of awkwardness or shame. Maimone appears again, face unobstructed, his gravelly croon reassuring us: “No one in the sky is gonna mind, gonna mind it/Love is blind, it’s time for a remindin’.”

Mutts released the video last month as a part of promotional efforts for their latest EP, Stick Together. Given the personal nature of the subject matter, the warmth of the message and Maimone’s skill as a raconteur, it’s no surprise that watching “I’ll Be Around” left me with goosebumps, a smile, and an overwhelming sense of hope.

You can snag a copy of Stick Together here. Mutts celebrates the release of the EP on Saturday, December 16th at The Hideout in Chicago (tickets). Other tour dates listed below. 

UPCOMING SHOWS
12/14 – Madison, WI at The Frequency
12/15 – Davenport, IA at Raccoon Motel
12/16 – Chicago, IL Stick Together EP Celebration at The Hideout
1/12 – Indianapolis, IN at Fountain Square Brewing Company
1/13 – Louisville, KY at The Living Room Series

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