Brooklyn noise-pop band Sleigh Bells announced the release of their third record, Bitter Rivals, along with the video for a single by the same name early Tuesday (September 3). That video bears a striking similarity to the new, grittier image embraced by pop princess Katy Perry. Yup, the pop and indie worlds are colliding — not with a whimper but with a bang.
We’re by no means suggesting that either party is biting the other. In fact, Perry and Sleigh Bells have markedly different visions for their upcoming records (Bells’ Bitter Rivals drops on October 8, and Perry’s Prism is slated for October 22). While Perry has been eagerly looking to shed her Teenage Dream persona and sink her talons into the dark side with jams like the “witchy, spell-y kind of black magic-y” “Dark Horse,” Sleigh Bells are looking to step out of the blood-splattered Keds from their previous album cover and go lighter.
Guitarist Derek Miller told NME that the songs on Bitter Rivals come from a “different headspace, just more up and positive … [The record is] not as dark … I kind of worked through a lot of difficult stuff on the last record,” he said, referring to the death of his father in 2009.
So think of it this way: Perry is getting darker, Sleigh Bells are getting lighter, and now the two are meeting the middle with some bizarro similarities. Check out four such parallels below:
The custom boxing robe biz is making a mint on Katy and Sleigh Bells. For Perry’s show-ending performance at the 2013 Video Music Awards, the singer donned a maroon and gold robe and faced off in a boxing ring under the Brooklyn Bridge. According to Perry , her opponent in said ring was herself.
Sleigh Bell’s Alexis Krauss is also kitted out in a boxing robe — personalized with her initials and the single title — in the “Bitter Rivals” video, leaping around a bodega, punching at the air.
Cut the two vids together and you’ve got one epic training montage.
Cat Scratch Fever Is Spreading
Katy Perry has been rocking the cat-themed prints of late in honor of her single “Roar,” most notably stepping out in a leopard-print dress at the VMAs. The Sleigh Bells duo also get catty in their new video, with Krauss sporting the aforementioned robe, which is similarly spotted, and Miller shredding on a neon yellow tiger-striped guitar. Lisa Frank , your comeback (kid) is imminent.
While Katy Perry burned her blue wig to ceremonially put her “California Gurl” image to rest, the Sleigh Bells crew is embracing follicular falsity with a rainbow of wigs in their new video. Krauss never dons the fake hair, however, leaving the candy-colored mugging to her backup dancers while her hair remains as black as pitch — or Katy Perry’s.
With boxing robes and tiger stripes in tow, it’s only natural that both Katy Perry and Sleigh Bells would trot out jams with similarly punchy undertones: “Roar” and “Bitter Rivals,” respectively. Perry’s jam is about facing off against oneself and overcoming detractors, the chorus blaring, “I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter dancing through the fire/ ’Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna see me roar.” Sleigh Bell’s song is similarly pugnacious, with Krauss singing, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times/ I had to kill the new sheriff in town/ She was gonna try to keep me/ You go, go down” and “You are my bitter rival and I need you for survival.”
Both are sure to score many a hairbrush and mirror self-esteem session.