The streaming fireworks and upbeat black-and-white imagery of “Spotlight,” the first video to support Nashville pop-rock trio Leagues’ forthcoming full-length, You Belong Here, mask vocalist Thad Cockrell’s deeper, quasi-philosophical lyrics. As cigarettes light like sparklers and drummer Jeremy Lutito pounds away at his kit in front of a bookcase decorated with lightbulbs, Cockrell expounds on how “romantic love” comes and goes easily, making for some well-conceived juxtaposition by recent Civil Wars video director Allister Ann. As a woman waves her hair on an overpass and headlights make streaks behind her, he sings, “I’m never gonna give you up/ Spotlight.”
Some scratchy, funky guitars, a clapping tambourine beat and some vocal harmonies that recall Leagues’ Nashville neighbors Kings of Leon dress Cockrell’s lyrics in a party vibe. But of course, that sort of a feeling is a very good thing, and the women and pyromaniacs in the video soon get sucked into the feel-good beat of the song, and a dance scene breaks out around the band for its final moments, where thinking deeply and feeling carefree collide. If “romantic love is a fickle friend” as Cockrell contends, making a fun pop song with thoughtful lyrics is even harder.
You Belong Here is out January 29 via Bufalotone Records.