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Live Review: Mallrat's 'Better' vid is a melancholic fantasyland

13 December 2017 | 9:40 am | Kyle Fensom

Brisbane wunderkind Mallrat unveils her melancholic fantasyland in the video for her latest single, 'Better', ahead of her sold-out tour of the East Coast.

Brisbane wunderkind MALLRAT has graced us with the visual treatment for her latest single, ‘Better’, ahead of her sold-out East Coast tour last week.

With oversaturated light and natural flares flooding the frame, images of Australiana bush and wildflower-flushed fields, Rory Pippens’ direction captures the nostalgic tones of the enchanting little summer jam. It feels like a blissful slice of everyday life cut from the 19-year-old, swept along and over before you realise it.

With microphone in hand and oozing her trademark casual cool, she dances, jumps and twirls amidst a field of horses circling around her. In other shots, she’s delivering witty lyrics through her sleepy, softly-spoken vocal style as she effortlessly rides around on the back of horses. On the inspiration behind the video, Mallrat explained, “I really love horses and this video was the perfect excuse to spend a couple of days hanging out with them.” It’s almost like you’ve gone through the looking glass and fallen headfirst into Mallrat’s fantasyland.

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However, the heart of the song lies in its explosive chorus: “Everyone’s alive, so everything’s alright / But maybe when the summer ends, I’ll drift away from all my friends.” The lines perfectly encapsulate the ephemerality of the song: this moment might be happy and carefree, but the sadness of its impermanence always lingers in the background. Beneath everything, Mallrat’s music seems constantly preoccupied with these sorts of existential themes. The video doesn’t miss this point, either, with bubbles floating past and obscuring Mallrat as she performs.

Every now and then, Mallrat finds herself surrounded by images of loneliness: an abandoned bus stop popping up through overgrown grass, rows of disused, desolate RV vans, powerlines imposing themselves in the background. These images are encroaching on her fantasy-world, underscoring the track’s melancholic tinge.

‘Better’ and its accompanying visuals have now set Mallrat up nicely for the release of her imminent sophomore EP in early 2018, her first on new label Dew Process. She’s just wrapped up a few sold out shows on her East Coast tour behind the single, kicking off in Brisbane tonight at the Black Bear Lodge. With another all-ages tour also slated for the new year, and having just been included on the final lineup release for Sydney City Limits, Mallrat is perfectly poised to make 2018 hers.


Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane – 7th December [SOLD OUT]

The Workers Club, Fitzroy – 8th December [SOLD OUT]

The Lansdowne Hotel, Chippendale – 9th December [SOLD OUT]

Foundry Records, Brisbane – 19th January [SOLD OUT]


PHOTO: Sean Pyke