Breakup Shoes: Playing With Fire

By Liv Bjorgum

Arizona indie band Breakup Shoes’s accompanying music video for “Playing With Fire” uses unique details to emphasize the song’s message of friendship. In the video, directed by June Hucko and produced by Latavia Young, and featuring the work of a plethora of others, the rest of Breakup Shoes engineers a quest to bring back their drummer. The charming plot, along with retro and immersive stylistic choices, result in a gem of a storytelling visual.


The four-piece band’s September single calls to mind the sounds of COIN, Junkie, and Adam Brock’s song “Fred Astaire” for Lady Bird. The music video, meanwhile, draws parallels to Wes Anderson’s 1960s-set film Moonrise Kingdom due to both the visuals and the story line. Both of the films’ symmetrical shots and crisp, nostalgic style add to the stories of escape and the expeditions to recover the lost. The video’s sunny, primary-colored world lands somewhere between make-believe and reality.

The song and video’s deservedly self-assured strength allow humor to be drawn into the tale of the prevailing friendship without overshadowing the craftsmanship. Goofy additions, such as the use of two lemons as a pair of binoculars and newspaper headlines like ‘Breakup Shoes Broken’ give the video its special lightheartedness. In addition, the track’s stream of upbeat instrumentals skillfully contrast the visuals’ darker side. Arson almost looks sweet alongside the bright color palette and emphasis on nature and the use of natural light.

Breakup Shoes provides an endearing and enduring visual debut with their firework of a music video for “Playing With Fire.”