Best Ex takes on abusive social media comments with new “Feed The Sharks” video
Best Ex (the project of Mariel Loveland, fka Candy Hearts) released their new Good At Feeling Bad EP on No Sleep last year, which Mariel calls a "middle finger from a woman who's over it and finds happiness regardless of the things that constantly try to knock us down." We're now premiering the very powerful video for the song "Feed The Sharks." Mariel explains the story behind the clip:
This song is really personal and important to me because I wrote it about what happened when I finally spoke up about being in a horribly abusive relationship with a tour manager. At the time, I felt like I had to say something because I read some aggressive things about him online. I always wanted parents to drop their kids off at my shows and know I’d keep them safe. When I read that stuff, I felt like I had failed at my job. So, I spoke up — but it spiraled out of control in the press, getting coverage in places that hadn’t even ever covered my music.
Instead of being believed, I was met with months of online abuse, called just about every nasty name in the book, and sent various threats as I watched my social media lose thousands of followers. For a while, I was afraid to play or be seen at shows because people would come up to me and ask me why I’m a liar. I was told by industry people that I had been blacklisted because I spoke up. It was basically the playbook of every reason why people say survivors keep their mouths shut.
Then, after about a year of this, I started thinking — why would I want to be part of an industry that would blacklist me for doing what’s right? So, I said f*ck ‘em. Let me talk until they’re blue in the face. I adopted the name of best ex, wrote this song, and started only doing what I wanted to do. It was a real turning point.
I ended up filming this video with my roommates during the first round of lockdown in NYC. I wanted to really play with color to represent how it feels when you’re in a hole of internet negativity — from the awful comments to the terrible news cycle. There’s this Wizard of Oz moment, when I step outside and realize the whole world is actually beautiful as long as you choose to go out and experience that beauty. I think that’s something important I often forget: the internet makes the world seem like a terrible place, especially during a pandemic when we can’t go outside and it’s like our lifeline, but it’s lying to us.
The video really brings to life everything Mariel said, and it makes for a perfect complement to the song, which contrasts the pain in the lyrics against a bright, synthpoppy backdrop. Watch the new video and stream the EP in full below. You can pick up a vinyl copy at No Sleep's webstore.