If you’ve never wanted to hug a gay teen goth before, watch the video for “Gay Goth Scene,” the lead single off The Hidden Cameras’ forthcoming album, Age. The indie rock outfit has been playing the melancholy anthem as part of their live act for more than a decade, but they’ve released a recorded version only this year, complete with a wistful music video directed by Kai Stänicke.
“We don’t want no gay goth scene in this house/ We don’t want no gorgeous teen in your mouth.” Band frontman Joel Gibb repeats the grimly ironic chorus over and over like an uptight suburban dad laying down the law. But in the music video, we don’t see a “scene,” just a single, lonely, ethereally beautiful teenaged boy with a couple of lip-rings and a jet-black hairdo straight from Coupe Bizarre.
Routine harassment and humiliation from his classmates turns particularly ugly during an incident involving blood-filled water balloons. After a gay twist on the prom scene with Carrie (sans telekinetic revenge, sadly), our pale-skinned protagonist decides he can’t take it anymore. He heads off into the woods with a bottle of prescription pills, leaving behind his tormentors and the boy who waited too long to say he cared.
The Hidden Cameras have always had a flair for the strange, represented here by Mary Margaret O’Hara (sister of SCTV queen Catherine), who howls like a banshee as the song reaches its climax. And there’s certainly a level of kitsch present in the video’s retro aesthetic, whose buzz-cut jocks, side-ponytailed twinsies mean girls, and Drew Barrymore-esque English teacher all vaguely recall the nostalgic vibe of Donnie Darko. But the emotion and tragedy of “Gay Goth Scene” are so genuine that it’s no surprise it was shown as a short film at Inside Out earlier this year. Are you hugging a teen yet?