words: Natalie Mariko
This past 4th of July I raided a golf course in Ithaca. The group I was with could have been stock characters in a fueled white man's fever dream—a gorgeous gaggle of queer folx, carrying pixie jar orange juice cocktails, trying to dodge the indignant golf-cart security, and decidedly not following golf-course etiquette. The tableaux felt revolutionary.
We skulked through the woods on the course's outer edge and passed through it toward the lake. There were befuddled kayak enthusiasts watching this group of ten or so visibly queer persons, lipstick like warpaint, emerge from the paths. We walked along the thin and drunken edge of a jetty, climbed with wet shoes the smiling lip and—there, perfect. What a view to turn to. The sky alighted and canoes steadily paddled past to the heart-beat rhythm of drums. Catfish berthed and plopped invisibly in the black then shimmering water beneath our dangling feet. The music in my mind's ear was a wistful lavender with which I'd yet cavorted.
Listening today to Strawberry Runners' new “Dog Days” video, I'm cavorting—hard.
The hugely talented Emi Night has put together an honest and resilient song and video. Her demeanor is at once self-assured and inviting. Like we're there running in the paths behind her, trying our best for now, gathering the moments in the basket of our bosom and damn-hell adoring them. Even if they don't last.
What I especially appreciate about the video is how it doesn't lean on a high-end production aesthetic to sell wistful and emotional. It reads real, like an old video you made with friends. Which is a genius complement to the song's lyrics. Nothing is hidden behind gimmicky filters and the slow-motion sequences only remind me for a moment that I'm watching a music video. That juxtaposition between the awareness of what I'm doing right now and the old-video-with-friends aesthetic is a sublime reflection. Like fireworks in water.
Let's break the repeat button, Emi. Take me back to Ithaca.