The Halifax, Nova Scotia-based band Mauno’s forthcoming album Really Well is slated for an August 2, 2019 release through Tin Angel Records, and the album, which was recorded at Chad VanGaalen’s Calgary, Alberta9-based studio reportedly finds the band — Eliza Niemi (vocals, bass), Nick Everett (vocals, guitar), Scott Boudreau (guitar) and Adam White (drums) — exploring the creases in intimacy, authenticity and labor and their preoccupations with the nature of creative labor, relationships and the self under capitalism. But while rooted in serious, daily concerns, the band notes that their critiques are filtered through a lens of the absurd, which gives them a playful, ridiculous air. “There’s something about humour and laughter that is very subversive and deeper than I think a lot of people realize,” the band’s Eliza Niemi says in press notes. “With these songs, I was trying to sort of dance on the one.” Adds the band’s Nick Everett, “There’s a double meaning to everything. You have to leave space for people to think. Where is the place for the listener if they’re not going to contribute their own thoughts or their own interpretations?”
Really Well’s latest single “Vampire” is a slow-burning track centered around shimmering guitars, shuffling drums, plaintive vocals and a soaring hook that recalls 120 Minutes-era like alt rock while being a playful and uplifting song that focuses on the pride and utter ridiculousness of being in creative labor in a capitalist world.
Directed by Max Taeuschel, the recently released video stars the band’s songwriting duo Eliza Niemi and Nick Everett in a bizarre endurance test, in which they’re challenged to continue performing the song while exhausting themselves on stationary bikes. Shooting the duo over an uninterrupted hour or so in an empty gym, the video’s surreal and absurd quality is a bit of an unsettling contrasts the song’s uplifting tone, Interestingly, the video also serves a deeper metaphor for being a musician and promoting your creative work — in other words, you work hard and never seem to feel as though you’re going anywhere.