Welcome to The Drop, Refinery29's new home for exclusive music video premieres. We want to shine the spotlight on women artists whose music inspires, excites, and (literally) moves us. This is where we'll champion their voices.
"Can’t Get Out Of Bed" is an upbeat song with a surprisingly dark message. The video is an explosion of bright colors, as the four members of Crimson Apple struggle to escape the confines of an elegant house. If it feels like they’re trapped in paradise, that’s the point.
Crimson Apple is made up of four sisters, Colby (lead vocals), Shelby (guitar), Faith (drums), and Carthi (bass), who all left the real-life paradise of Hawaii to find success in the music industry. In 2015, following the release their first album, Hello, the whole family moved to Los Angeles. But this was far from their first collaboration — the Benson sisters have been making music together since they were children. They first decided to collaborate in 2012; the two youngest sisters, Faith and Carthi, had only a few months to learn their instruments before the band's first live performance.
As the sisters grew up, so did their musical style. "Can’t Get Out of Bed" is darker and more haunting than Hello. The girls cite Panic! at The Disco and Paramore as major influences, though they draw inspiration from everything from J-Pop to alternative rock.
Now, Crimson Apple is on their High School Nation Tour, and working on a new EP for next year. The four sisters are seemingly inseparable, and their vision for the band is strikingly clear. Below, the four tell Refinery29 about the making of their first music video, their move to Los Angeles, and how the band has affected their family.
But first, check out the exclusive video premiere of "Can't Get Out Of Bed."
Refinery29: What was the concept for this video? What was it like doing your first music video?
Colby Benson: "We came up with this image with all four of us in red, and we really liked that contrast. That concept was a metaphor for our family and blood. The room was a metaphor for paradise."
Shelby Benson: "We never released a music video with that first album because we really wanted our first video to be something impactful. At that time we were really DIY and we didn’t want to release an image that we weren’t happy with. Working on the video for this new song, we knew we were gonna come out with such a great product. It all happened in a blur. We filmed the whole thing in a day, but it was one of the most amazing experiences we’ve ever had."
Why did you decide to move to LA? What was that transition like?
Shelby: "We come from Hawaii and there is a music scene there, but it’s very small. We got to the point where we felt we had done everything that we could do there. We knew that we had to move to a bigger city to really make it in music. All of the sudden, in just a few months we were in Los Angeles. There was one point where we were driving home together as a family, a week or two after we moved, and my mom started laughing out of nowhere. She was like, “I can’t believe we just up and moved to Los Angeles.” We were all laughing, because it was funny but it was so crazy. It was that step that felt like it was meant to be."
Early in the video you have that shot of apples on the bed which felt like a reference to the band's name. Where did that name come from?
Colby: "So our name actually stems from a lyric in one of the songs we used to cover. The lyric is “Who shot that arrow in your throat, who missed that crimson apple?” and it’s from a song called "Wine Red" by The Hush Sound. It was our favorite song to play at the time."
Shelby: "Music has always been this exciting adventure. When we go onstage we feel like this is our purpose in life. So when we go up there every day, [that is] the way we want to present ourselves. We are going into battle, and we’re going out there and living out our dream."
What is the dynamic of the band? How is it working with your sisters?
Shelby: "It’s interesting because we’re all super different. It feels like we’re complimenting each other. Colby is the strong leader frontwoman, and Faith is the bubbly happy fun type, and Carthi is the mysterious shy type. I guess I’m the passionate one. We just mesh well together. It makes it easy working together [because] we’re all going through the same things at the same time. One person will say one thing and the next one will finish their sentence. We’re lucky that we’re sisters because we have that instinct."
"Can’t Get Out Of Bed" is a very emotional song. Do you feel working on songs like that has brought you closer together?
Colby: "Definitely. The song is based on my personal experience with depression and that was something I never really talked to my family about before. I had a hard time expressing it. So this song was my way of explaining it to them. I feel like it definitely brought us closer together. When we were going to write the song it was like, “Yeah I feel that too.”"
R29: So right now, you’re on the High School Nation Tour. What’s next for you?
Colby: "We’re finishing up the tour, we’ll be done in November. We’re working on a lot of music, we’re writing, trying to get things together and come up with our new sound. We’re really excited about releasing this new EP."
This interview has been condensed for style and clarity.