Montreal musician Laurel Sprengelmeyer has just announced her third album as Little Scream, Speed Queen, the follow-up to 2016’s Cult Following.
Lead single, “Dear Leader,” is a simmering sigh, an extended political screed filled with disappointment and malaise. “Is there some history that we aren’t doomed to repeat?” Sprengelmeyer asks towards its end. “I’ve watched the history channel and human nature is hard to beat/ Some say it’s bad luck, but it’s just the fruit of our dreams/ And Dear Leader, the future is a scream.”
Its music video is made up of protest footage alongside documentarian Shannon Walsh, and it features cameos from The National, Arcade Fire, Superchunk, Holly Miranda, and more artists around the world.
Watch and listen below, and underneath the video read a statement from Sprengelmeyer about the clip.
This is a lyric video made up largely from crowd-sourced submissions from friends around the world, from São Paulo, Paris, and Barcelona to Des Moines, all shot on a phone. Many artists are pictured, but many are people I encountered while working on the video with documentary filmmaker Shannon Walsh. She and I approached people on the street and heard many interesting stories along the way, from the native man from Bella Bella who told us about being told to “go back to where you came from” (he jumped and replied, “I’m here”), to a man paying homage to lost friends at the AIDS memorial at Sunset Beach in Vancouver, to a group of young people returning from a rally to support LGBTQIA rights.
Much of the protest footage was shot by Shannon herself while in Hong Kong during the Umbrella Movement protests of 2014.
I would like to use the launch of this video to raise awareness about the 1000 Cities initiative—something being spearheaded by musician and environmentalist Becky Foon (pictured in the video) and Jesse Paris Smith. It’s a simple concept with a powerful message: If 1000 cities around the world adopt Paris climate accord standards, the world can still meet its global emissions targets. The idea is not to just sign a petition, but to get involved in supporting and advocating for zero-emissions targets with specific timeline commitments in our own cities and communities. It’s a way of empowering all of us to be part of reversing climate change.
01 “Dear Leader”
02 “One Lost Time”
04 “Disco Ball”
05 “Still Life”
06 “Forces Of Spring”
07 “No More Saturday Night”
08 “Speed Queen”
09 “Don’t Wait For It”
10 “Privileged Child”
Speed Queen is out 10/25 via Merge Records. Pre-order it here.