Philadelphia’s Littler is an indie rock four-piece comprised of guitarist/vocalist Madeline Meyer, bassist Ivy Gray-Klein, guitarist Dan Colanduno, and drummer Anne Burtner. The band came together in 2013 at First Time’s the Charm, a local showcase focused on inclusiveness in the music scene by bringing together musicians who identify as women, LGBTQ, people of color, and those playing an instrument or starting a band for the first time (in all, sixteen new bands performed at the event). The bandmates stuck together and released an EP titled “Get a Life” (Number4Door) the following year. In March, 2016 they released their debut full-length, Of Wandering (Birdtapes).
Directed by Colanduno, Littler’s new video for “Somewhere Else,” is comprised of footage shot during the band’s different tours over a period of several months. “I wanted to make sure we had enough footage to show a variety of images. The stark contrast between time (winter and spring) and place (east coast and west coast) was what we wanted to capture visually,” Colanduno says.
Among those images are visions of palm trees, dog beaches (unfortunately, Littler’s own pets/unofficial mascots could not make the trips), highways, national landmarks, and clips of the bandmates hanging out and exploring various locales. Pieced together with “live action” text messages, emails, and social media posts, the effect is a bit like being in the van with Littler and experiencing both the adventure and the loneliness of the open road.
While the video is centered on constant travel, the themes of “Somewhere Else” are universal no matter the location. “This song is about the complications of being split between places and the difficulty of finding satisfaction with just one,” says Meyer. “My family lives on the west coast and as much as I love my world in Philadelphia, it is not at all like where I come from. When I’m in either, I miss parts of the other.”
That tendency plays out in the song’s lyrics, which were inspired by Meyer’s thoughts of her family. “The one line, ‘You can kiss me over the phone’ stems from something my grandfather used to say, which is that watching a movie on a television set is like being kissed over the phone,” Meyer says. “It’s a pale reflection of what the objective is. In the case of distance it becomes more literal where you’re having to act as if you’re there when you’re not—A pale reflection of presence.”
But despite that sentiment being all too common in modern times and being essential to the song, Meyer says, “it wasn’t until the video that we recognized a big part of this theme involves these tools that fool you into thinking you can live in multiple worlds.”
Stream “Somewhere Else” below and feed your own travel bug. Of Wandering is out now on Birdtapes.