Dallas-based musician Jared Putnam’s power-pop band The March Divide has always looked to the past for inspiration, focusing on melody and construction that feels timeless and free of shifting musical trends. But there’s no sense of abject obedience to those influences — Putnam uses them as a springboard for his own tangled experiments, finding ways to subvert these sounds while maintaining the essence of why he loved them in the first place.
The band recently shared a new record, Lost Causes, and it continued Putnam’s deep dive into all things melodic and pop-oriented, while still displaying the occasional streak of rock and roll belligerence. One of the standout tracks, “Corduroy,” has a new video courtesy of director Hector Gallardo, and it features Maurice, the same puppet that starred in their video for “Tension in the Air“. The song brings to mind the jangling echoes and chunky rhythms of bands like Big Star and Cheap Trick, but also lays some of its earnest adoration at the altar of mid-90’s alt-rock (I’m looking at you Gin Blossoms and Matthew Sweet) — a rumbling sound which was repurposed in the early aughts by bands like Fountains of Wayne and Sloan.
“‘Corduroy’ is a throwback to all the big chorus power-pop of the early 2000’s, complete with super shallow, but somehow sensitive lyrics,” Putnam says. “In the vein of ‘Stacy’s Mom,’ but we’re all grown up now. Stacy probably has kids of her own by now, and we’ve all lost track of her mom. I just decided what this song was going to be and ran with it. I guess I might have run too far, but it was a lot of fun to work on.“
The video is an irreverent look at love and the memories we make that stay with us. It’s surprisingly earnest in its depiction of regret, joy, and the struggles faced by people who make the effort to form connections with one another. This clip just so happens to star a puppet that could have been a background extra in Labyrinth.
Gallardo explains: “You know how sometimes you listen to a certain song and it just takes you back to those times you got into a bar fight and fell in love? No? Well that’s exactly what happened to Maurice, the puppet star of ‘Corduroy,’ the follow-up to his debut performance in The March Divide’s ‘Tension in the Air’ video. Maurice is a super popular guy in the bars. People always want to take selfies with him and it gets kind of hard to film his scenes. But we got it done. Poor dude took a beating this time. He’s gonna be taking a break from the big screen for a while and get some well needed rest and repairs.“
Watch the video below.
The March Divide’s latest record Lost Causes is out now on Slow Start Records. Follow the band on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.