Midwest pop punks Direct Hit! haven't put out a new album since 2018's Fat Wreck Chords-released Crown of Nothing, but they've been self-releasing standalone singles throughout the pandemic, and we're premiering their first new song of 2021, "Hollow Comfort."

Like a lot of new music, the song was recorded in a mix of remote and in-studio sessions, and it was made by the band's new five-piece lineup of longtime members Nick Woods and Devon Kay (both guitar and vocals), bassist Joram Zbichorski (who's also in Devon Kay's band the Solutions), drummer Logan Stang (The Slow Death), and new addition Maura Weaver (Mixtapes, Ogikubo Station, The Homeless Gospel Choir, etc), who's collaborated with the band for years but recently joined as an official member. The new song was mixed by frequent collaborator (and longtime All-American Rejects guitarist) Mike Kennerty.

Like a lot of Direct Hit! songs, "Hollow Comfort" is anthemic, power-poppy punk with a pretty undeniable hook, and it puts a fresh, indie rock-friendly twist on the genre. Nick gives some background on it:

A good friend of mine sent me the melodies in this song a couple months back as a gift, and I started writing the lyrics about longing for human contact. It turned out to be a song that’s more of a brain dump regarding the internet’s insidiousness, and how the fear of being lonely or insignificant has kept me and a lot of other people from letting go of the shallow illusion of security it creates. It’s ironic that at the same time, the internet also makes us feel small, and vulnerable. It’s even worse that over the last year, I dunno how we would’ve survived without it.

I’ve spent a lot of time during quarantine writing songs about artificial and impossible relationships, as part of a bigger story about an evolved teenager and her robot partner. This one reflects many of the sentiments that have come from trying to write that narrative. More soon.

The video mixes a montage of old films with original animation by Walker Dubois, and here's what video creator Ben Sargent has to say about it:

This is the basic process behind the montage element. I'll leave it up to you as to if there's anything interesting to glean from it! For the montages, I source all the found footage from the Internet Archive, and try to create loose narratives that capture the emotional beats I hear in the music.

For this video, Walker came up with some ideas for the animation first, then I looked for stuff that would kind of fit the aesthetic of the original clip he showed me that would end up being the inspiration for the animation. It seemed like 80’s home video schlock would be a cool thing to explore this time. All of the clips for this particular video were sourced from a handful of feature films in a collection of 300+ that never escaped the video cassette era. They would have probably otherwise been lost to time, had some fucking maniac not digitized and uploaded all of them from what seems to be a personal collection.

Walter adds, "With these videos I always just try to create a visual that embodies how the song makes me feel, so I try to capture the mood with my animation."

The song comes to streaming services on Friday (pre-save). Check out the video right here:

Related: Devon Kay & the Solutions also continued their 2021 singles series today with "Parchment & Petroleum," and Devon tells New Noise, "I would say if you like punk rock/ska/showtunes/pop music/dumb rock/electronic music you might find something here."