You Cannot “Stay Mad” at Luna Shadows as She Releases New Single and Announces Forthcoming Album

Indie-pop sensation Luna Shadows has released a new single, “stay mad,” with an accompanying music video which she directed herself. She has also announced her forthcoming sophomore album, bathwater, dropping on June 21.

Videos by American Songwriter

“stay mad” is an honest look at navigating female friendships told in Luna’s confessional lyrical style and breathy yet crystalline vocals. She has a voice like a fraying pink ribbon or a crystal bowl shattering in slow motion. It adds a unique sonic experience to the interesting visual elements of the video.

The speaker of “stay mad” stumbles through the intricacies of friendship through interactions with hair—braiding, pulling, and cutting. The video opens with Luna being dragged across the room by her long dark hair, and there are scenes of bullying and camaraderie scattered through the video in relation to braided hair as well. Along with Luna, the video stars Ashley “Robi” Robicheaux and Sierra Fujita Puett. The three braid each others hair, then swing the braids around while running and jumping around Luna, who stands on a lawn and plays guitar.

It’s an exploration of both female joy and meanness, as well as the intimacies of how hair can represent identity. At the end of the video, Robicheaux and Puett cut off Luna’s braid, and Luna chases after them with her guitar brandished like a weapon. The two then offer Luna’s cut braid to her as a peace offering, representing remorse and apology.

Luna Shadows Translates Girlhood Imagery and Inspiration Into ‘stay mad’ Music Video

According to a press release, Luna’s inspiration for the song and video came from real life friendships. “When I was in first grade, my best friend (who I adored) dragged me across her front lawn by the hair – just for fun,” she said. “When we were in third grade, she laughed and kicked me under the desk so violently that the teacher reassigned our seats. Shortly after, I made her cry at field day when she wasn’t trying hard enough to help our team win. Despite all of this, I really loved her and would’ve done anything for her. 

“In my adult life,” she continued, “many of my female relationships have played out similarly, only now, our weapons are more our words (or sometimes, a lack thereof). The video is a visual collage of these memories and relationships, recalling some childish acts of violence – but playing out as adults.”

Luna Shadows understands how to interpret girlhood into art. In a time when grown women are reclaiming their girlhood—ribbons, nail polish, pink everything, and trauma—Luna presents us with a video that emulates these things. Running around in the grass in pristine white dresses, braiding hair, teasing, bullying, and big, loud emotional responses feel like translations of what it means to be a girl. Specifically, what it means to be a girl navigating friendships.

Featured Image via YouTube/Luna Shadows

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