Heidi Petty

Protest, psych-kissed dream pop made to fight the scourge of the tech overlords.

San Francisco’s Cruel Summer premieres their follow-up to 2013’s ST​/​EP with a peaceful statement against the tech-takeover in the jubilant debut of, “Leeches”. Directed by Heidi Petty, Robert Lampe, and edited by Aaron Buttig; Thea Chacamaty, Josh Yule, Chani Hawthorne, and Sean Mosley return to reclaim the city and Bay that they love before the bridge-and-tunnel tycoons moved in, and kicked everyone out. Conveyed through sunny, summer day visuals and a plastered-pastiche sound, “Leeches” echoes the various eclectic art movements that have comprised the Bay Area scenes from the former garage rock boom, the local dream pop movements, to its psychedelic past.

Cruel Summer interrupts the Bay Area’s current torrential storm to wander in the green, spring fields of “Leeches”. Giving the gift of sunshine to chase away the overcast clouds; the freedom of unburdened afternoon unfolds as Thea declares with warning and conviction, “the leeches are coming into town, and they just want to suck your blood”. Crisp, sparkling guitars voices beautifully blend into harmonic voices of defiance in an allegory made against the SF tech intrusion. The slightly-psych kissed visual overlays from Heidi Petty and Robert Lampe re-introduce a ‘flower power’ style of back-to-nature/back-to-basics aesthetics, replete with over-exposed lens shots of sunbeams brightly reflecting off Chacamaty’s sunglasses. The opening shots blurs the saturated streets of San Fran with the foliage, tree branches, and bristling blades of grass captured from the surrounding park escapes.