ABOVE: TOTAL GIOVANNI. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MAX MILNE.
Deep reflection on your own teenage years likely uncovers emotional scars and causes a resurgence of embarrassments you usually glaze over. From a more objective viewpoint, however, watching someone else go through these physically and mentally formative years has a certain captivating quality–delinquency manifested as spray-painting, experimenting with drugs, and stealing candy from the local corner store, come together with societal rules of conduct, pining for the approval of peers, and of course, sexual awakenings.
In their new video for “Can’t Control My Love,” Australian five-piece band Total Giovanni focuses on a gang of young boys who run amok through the streets of Melbourne’s suburbs in the early ’90s. Like a hoard of flannel-sporting, old school video game-playing hooligans, they engage in these coming of age activities whenever they’re not wrestling each other or smashing in old televisions. As a nod to the band’s early ’90s aesthetic, the video was shot with film rather than digital cameras.
While a synth-pop song called “Can’t Control My Love” might not immediately summon images of rough kids horsing around, the paradox serves a purpose. “The song made me think of a character who embraces their emotions [when] at odds with their surroundings, and a teenage boy who embraces childish love and joy in the context of aggressive masculinity seemed to fit the bill,” video director Sherwin Akbarzadeh explains. “The first thing that attracted me to the concept was how an oppressive social environment like a destructive pack of teenage boys would feel up against a joyous anthem like ‘Can’t Control My Love.'”
To counterbalance the weighty social tensions within the group of boys, Total Giovanni makes a few whimsical appearances, playing instruments made out of tennis rackets and remote controls while dressed like Greek groove gods from the future. “Can’t Control My Love” is the second single from the band’s forthcoming debut LP (via Two Bright Lakes). You can check out the video here, exclusively on Interview.