As we come to the end of another month in this seemingly endless pandemic, we might well ask ourselves when we will ever again come face to face with someone from outside our immediate circle. New Jersey indie-pop group, America’s Sweetheart, asks “when will we ever meet?” in the second verse of their new single, ‘Face To Face’, and it’s a question that at the moment, feels unanswerable.
We’re kept well connected by way of our electronic devices – it doesn’t bear imagining what it would be like without them – but we’re still physically separated, and there’s nothing we can do about that right now, at least, until the crisis is averted. So in the meantime, we’re separated from our friends and lovers, and we long to share even the air – and more – with those we love.
In ‘Face To Face’ America’s Sweetheart brings that desire to life, and the track serves as a torch song of sorts, an anthem for all of humanity.
Singers Anastasia Kinsella and Valerie Germain are adept in their handling of the complex emotions covered in the song, which has been produced, and co-written, by the legendary Godfrey Diamond, who’s known for his work with the likes of Lou Reed, Princess Superstar, Billy Squier, and Aerosmith among others. Their songwriting is both flexible and imaginative, and Diamond captures the wistfulness of ‘Face To Face’ without losing any of its power. Guitarist Robbie “Seahag” Mangano, who’s performed with Sean Lennon, and The Grandmothers Of Invention, is deft in his performance, while emphasising the charm of the song, while the dreamy drums are the work of Johnny Markowski, known for beating the skins with New Riders Of The Purple Sage, as well as local New Jersey band, Jeb Jones.
The music video for ‘Face To Face’ is an animated masterpiece directed by Jennifer Cobb, using Katie Plitt’s poignant illustrations, and Calvin Swaim’s animation. Together they have superbly captured the song’s melancholy, and the beautiful clip sees the protagonist taking a journey through a gorgeously rendered depopulated cityscape. Riding the Number 2 train, alone, she passes parks and streets, empty and still, spookily quiet. She puts on her mask, and takes her groceries home, while the concerns of the world around her are borne on her shoulders.
Spring has sprung, and is seen through her apartment’s windows, but our heroine can’t enjoy it. The texted love notes reassure her, but they’re not as satisfying as the thrill of a human touch. We know this story only too well, we are living the same predicament, and in desperation, we share the same hopes.
America’s Sweetheart are online on Twitter. Watch the video for ‘Face To Face’ below.