I’m here for pop punk that’s gritty and meaningful and touches on very real topics. As It Is have shrugged off some of the shimmer of their previous music and aimed their creative energies powerfully toward the subject of depression and mental health. The four piece of Benjamin Langford-Biss (guitar/vocals), Patrick Foley (drums), Patty Walters (vocals), and Ali Testo (bass), have continued sharing more from their upcoming The Great Depression album, releasing “The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry)”.
While the song title is instantly communicative of so much, in keeping boys emotionless and silent in order to be ‘strong and manly’, the band expanded upon this and described the intention behind both the song and the video. They refer to toxic masculinity and the need to speak against ‘outdated ideals that to this day threaten individuality’, saying:
“The eponymous ‘stigma’ is that sense of blemish and shame so often associated with showing and expressing emotion, that causes too many to hide who they are. It is totally acceptable to show feeling; it is real and human to do so, and not something that should be arbitrarily gendered and hidden from view. In these increasingly disconnected times, where empathy is seemingly on a decline at many levels of everyday modern life, it is vital to stand up against such outdated tropes.”
I’m all for this active stance on making a difference to the lives of many, by normalising masculinity without impossible standards. I’m also loving the determination carried sonically by “The Stigma”. Beginning by gently acknowledging difficulty, “The Stigma” sees that apparent empathy gradually contort and twist into something suppressive:
“Just dry your eyes, ‘cause boys don’t cry”
Emotive in the sense of uniting men with acceptance and empathy, and rebellious in its sarcastic takes as to how you’ve got to ‘keep it together until the day you die’, the song and video for “The Stigma” take the inane concept of emotionless masculinity as far as it’ll creatively go. The band members along with others are taught how to ‘man up’. Our World Is Grey who directed the video share that the message behind it is “one of equality, something that we are both massively behind. We wanted to blend both early 2000’s emo rock videos with modern cinematography. We had an amazing team of actors and supporting creatives with us on set who also shared our passion in bringing this concept to life. We hope you enjoy this video as much as we enjoyed creating it.”
Sensitively creating on the subject of mental health, The Great Depression sets to blend art and tough topics together to enhance awareness and spark thought. The band also intend to work alongside non-profit organisations they respect, as another means to create positive change via their music.
Check out “The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry)” music video below. You can also find it on our Spotify playlist right HERE. The Great Depression releases on August 10th via Fearless Records and can be pre-ordered here: https://fanlink.to/thegreatdepression