Photo: Shervin Lainez

girlhouse radiates raw emotion in the video for cathartic alt-pop cataclysm “worth it”

The music of girlhouse — aka Portland-by-way-of-Nashville bedroom pop architect Lauren Luiz — is bathed in an alt-pop euphoria, a brash and inventive amalgamation of influences that draws from countless genres and personal experiences. Guitars can be torn apart or left to linger gently on the periphery, while her voice never looses its focus on internalizing huge reservoirs of emotion. 

Getting her start as an actress on NBC’s hit series Grimm, and later working on Broadway and subsequently performing for President Brack Obama at The White House, Luiz gift for innovative pop and rock alchemy eventually led her to Los Angeles where she met future bandmate-producer Tyler Thompson. She had to relocate to New York to perform in Spring Awakening but would return to Loa Angeles once the show had ended. She formed the band WILD with Thompson, and the two developed a persuasive folk-pop aesthetic.

Eventually, she would begin to write songs that didn’t feel as though they belonged under the WILD moniker, and so she created girlhouse, the avenue by which she was able to explore a complicated and knotty (and rockier) sound than she’s worked with previously. She would go onto release a trio of EPs under the new name and performed alongside artists such as Sabrina Carpenter and Halsey.

On her new single, “worth it”, which was released earlier this month, she combined her affection for anthemic guitars and quiet introspection. It all starts fairly dreamy, sparkling guitars shivering in the distance and a voice reaching out from some distant star. And then it all comes crashing down, guitars ablaze and drums detonating around your head. We’re occasionally given small moments of respite before various musical eruptions threaten to overwhelm us, giving us the best opportunity to witness this aural cacophony.

The accompanying video features Luiz sitting on top of a car, singing as she’s driven through different locations. There’s something painful and raw and cathartic about the footage, as she veers between joy, ache, and release in the span of just a few minutes. It’s a powerfully simple visual that allows us to see her completely, unguarded and vulnerable but still determined to reclaim some small measure of happiness as the world’s darkness seeks to surround her.

“Our friend Cooper Brown is an actual angel and helped us put this video together,” Luiz says. “My next door neighbor got into a gun fight in front of my house the week we filmed this. My car was totaled from bullet holes and I no longer felt safe at home so I was having a pretty hard time. I also recently lost my grandpa and still don’t feel like I’ve fully adjusted to his loss. I don’t think there is more emotionally raw footage of me out there than this video. My rental car had a sunroof so Cooper rented a car mount and let us use one of his antique lenses and that combo created something magical. I’m SO proud of how this video turned out and I’m so grateful for Cooper for helping us out, it felt like therapy working on this.

Watch the video below.

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