GOOD BISON has released his new video for “Better Lies,” taken from his upcoming Goosebumps by R.L. Stine-inspired narrative EP Ghost On Mulholland (out independently on February 21). The video premieres today via Under The Radar. The new EP serves a ghost story that sees the protagonist attempting to do whatever he can to flee a lifelong haunting. In the case of “Better Lies,” a track about being in denial of one’s inner turmoil and pretending like everything is fine, especially when it isn’t, the new video directed by Estefania Krol of Krolhaus (Good Bison’s go-to creative director since 2020), reflects this by showing Good Bison brainchild Pablo Alvarez smiling away the pain he is clearly going through. As Alvarez sings, “These arguments inside my head they could be televised / No worries, I’m all good, my smile is one of my Better Lies.”
The “Better Lies” video sees Alvarez driving out of LA, on the run from the ghost that has been trailing him, with only his furry companion, Chance, and a miniature TV by his side, all with a painful smile on his face. This TV showcases the real Alvarez performing the song; actually able to showcase the painful emotions the protagonist has been going through.
“‘Better Lies’ represents the moment the protagonist is running away after being attacked by the ghost. It’s his desperate attempt to escape. That’s what I’m doing in the video, escaping,” says Alvarez. “My exaggerated smile is me running away from my problems, and it’s me denying how I’m feeling. There is something eerie and unsettling about the way I’m smiling, even though to the outside world it may seem warm and welcoming.”
“I worked directly with Estefania Krol, the director of Krolhaus, to bring this song to life,” continues Alvarez. “She came up with the concept inspired by the short story that I wrote for the EP and we shot it around Los Angeles.” Revolving the video around the iconic road Mulholland Drive that runs along the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles, he taps into the street’s mystical energy. “Obviously Mulholland Drive is a huge part of not just the video but the entire narrative behind the music. I’ve driven up and down Mulholland so many times that it almost felt like I was just cruising through the city, not actually shooting a video. My favorite part was getting to include my dog, Chancellor Puppytine. Chance is the star of the show.”
“Better Lies,” alongside the rest of the EP, was written and recorded in Miami by Alvarez and Abe Mendez, with George Spits handling additional production, mixing and mastering, Agustin Mas on lead guitar and Sebastian Delgado on drums/backing vocals. The writing and recording process for Ghost On Mulholland saw Alvarez return to Miami, his home for many years after immigrating there with his mother from Colombia. After having moved to Los Angeles as an adult, the making of this EP gave Alvarez a chance to reconnect with his Miami music community and collaborate with them once more.
On Ghost on Mulholland, Good Bison takes his sun-soaked indie rock into a more serious, sometimes slowed direction to match the ghost story at play. However, he still maintains the signature combo of Beck’s Odelay, Weezer’s The Blue Album, and his unique, fast paced hip-hop delivery that’s previously brought him acclaim.
“There’s no way of knowing what someone is going through, unless they tell you… and oftentimes, people will not tell you. It’s easy to feel pressured to always be okay,” concludes Alvarez. “Smiling can be a coping mechanism. That’s why it’s important to give others, and yourself, the benefit of the doubt. There’s arguments inside all of our heads, and sometimes they grow unbearably loud.”