Push Baby Release Their Debut Song and Music Video // “Mama’s House”

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Push Baby just released their debut single “Mama’s House,” but who are they?

Push Baby is a pop band consisting of Jake Roche (lead vocals), Danny Wilkin (keys/bass), Charley Bagnall (guitar), and Lewi Morgan (drums). This band isn’t new to the music industry by any means. If you take a look at Push Baby’s YouTube channel, you’ll find videos by a group named Rixton. If you look even closer, you’ll find that the members of Rixton are also the members of Push Baby. The name change isn’t a secret. Some artists try to hide past projects, but they released an entire video teasing the name evolution.

Four years ago, it looked like Rixton had it all made. They were signed with Scooter Braun, the man behind the careers of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. They were nominated for four Teen Choice Awards in 2014 before releasing their debut album Let The Road in 2015. Their single “Me and My Broken Heart” had success on the U.S. Billboard charts and internationally. They even opened for Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande on arena tours. But something didn’t click.

Slowly, they disappeared from the public eye. In 2016, all of the band’s socials teased a black cloud. Fans were gearing up for more music. Then a year went by. And another. Nothing. Not a single song. In March 2019, the band signaled something was coming by changing their personal Twitter handles to usernames that didn’t include “Rixton.” On March 7, 2019, they announced their fiery return – literally. In a video titled “push baby presents : The Running Jump,” frontman Jake Roche was set alight before running and jumping off a diving board situated in front of a huge screen broadcasting photos and screenshots that comprise part of the Push Baby narrative thus far. The old story of Rixton is no longer available because, as they declare in their announcement video, “everything becomes something else.”

Almost a month after presenting themselves to the world, Push Baby dropped their debut song and music video for “Mama’s House.” The song addresses some misconceptions of fame, like how a verified blue-tick next to your name doesn’t mean much aside from an ego boost. They express frustration and pressure from a world of people envisioning success for them, but there’s also a hunger for the day that those hopes and dreams will come to fruition. While they may have had to return to their mama’s house for now, there’s a promise to make something out of this project and return the favor to those who have given them refuge and space to figure things out. The song is an honest take of often unspoken circumstances, but it’s fitting for a pop band to address the tough side of being an artist in the music industry when they want to move forward as artists who are as genuine with the public as possible.

Although Roche has been priding himself on transparency, Push Baby delivered a music video that was quite the opposite. The striking visuals throughout were sometimes disorienting or nightmarish. Vibrant colors contrasted bleak scenes, yet there’s a story here. It’s a whirlwind. It’s about pushing through the darkness and still emerging from the other side. It’s real and genuine. Their creativity shone through in this video, and the result was a visual and auditory piece of art that demanded you watch and take notice of the powerhouses behind Push Baby. 

Middle of the road isn’t going to cut it for this band. If you love them, great. If you hate the changes, great. They want you to feel emotion. They are not here to be another band that just exists. 

Push Baby is ambitious, and they don’t care who knows it. This time they’re all in.
Keep on pushing, baby. We’re ready for the next life of this band.

Connect with the artist —
Push BabyInstagram // Twitter // Facebook // YouTube // Website
Jake Roche: Instagram // Twitter
Danny Wilkin: Instagram // Twitter
Charley Bagnall: Instagram // Twitter
Lewi Morgan: Instagram // Twitter

What are your thoughts on Push Baby, “Mama’s House,” and their music video?
Comment below or tweet me, @alananoble.

 

Read on if you’re interested in how I unpacked the perplexing imagery of the “Mama’s House” video…

(Disclaimer: These are my interpretations, and I could be completely missing the mark on how Roche/Moon intended these scenes to be viewed and interpreted.)
[Edits have been added as commentary/explanations from those involved are made public.]

I found that the easiest way for me to try to understand all that was the “Mama’s House” video was to look at each set that was featured. As I saw it, each scene introduced a different step in the journey from childhood to present day. Here’s my breakdown of the details I spotted within each world of the music video —

  • MIRRORS – the introduction:

In the first scene, Jake is stripped down to his briefs and only accompanied by a donkey. Mirrors and flickering lights enclose him, giving him room to only know himself. He’s starting with next to nothing. The image of Jake is reminiscent of a baby in a diaper, or a person in the first stages of learning about the world. But it’s not entirely innocent; there’s blood dripping from his eyes. You won’t find rose-colored glasses or childlike wonder here.

  • CRAYON – the foundation:

The next scene depicts a room splattered with crayon scribbles and neon paint. For me, the crayon backdrop of the kids’ television show Elmo’s World came to mind, which could imply that this is the phase of discovery, a toddler with curiosity and willingness to learn. The world is full of color. It’s the only room featuring all four members of the band, and where a majority of the music video takes place. Various designs and phrases like “Let Me Ask You” and “Know…?” fill the walls. It looks as though one wall has the letters “BTTFLY”, which could allude to the butterfly seen in the announcement video. A clapperboard at the end of the music video shows a filming date of June 12, 2018. All of this has surely been a long time coming. [Edit Apr. 9 2019: Facepalm moment… I forgot that this is a British pop band, so the date on the clapperboard “6/12/18” actually meant December 6, 2018.]

  • BEDROOM – the transition:

An odd bedroom is the next setting. There’s a large figure lying on the bed and covered by sheets. The room is where one goes to sleep and consequently dream. It seems as though their dream is to take control of their band. Push Baby came for Scooter Braun’s head, and they hold onto it like a trophy, showcasing it on the floor.

  • LABORATORY – the evaluation:

The following scene is an eerie basement laboratory. Jake resembles a manic bunny with buck teeth and red eyes. The figure on the operating table is a mix of symbols from successful artists most adjacent to Rixton’s career: Ed Sheeran’s face and body, Ariana Grande’s hair and bunny ears from the Dangerous Woman era, and Justin Bieber’s chest tattoo. There’s also a corkboard on the wall with Ed, Ariana, and Justin’s faces on it, as though Jake’s trying to piece together the elements that made these popstars achieve their immense levels of international fame and fortune.

  • TREADMILL – the repetition:

Jake later appears on a treadmill donning a unibrow and striped shirt with colors, reminding me of Bert from Sesame Street, a character who opts for a bit of a boring life. On the treadmill, Jake is going through the motions and doing the same things in an environment that is quite literally set up for him. Being told how to conduct yourself can get old quickly, and when the world around you crashes down, maybe it’s time to step out and try something new.

  • CAR CRASH – the realization:

The next scene shows a car crashed in murky territory. Jake takes on the form of a dead deer with black eyes. Lewi wears a hunting vest and plays his drums atop a car that seems to be harboring a dead giraffe. I categorize this scenario as the jumping off point. Everything that could go wrong did. The car crashed. The unfortunate victims are left for dead. You can try and salvage the wreckage, but there’s no turning back.

  • SCUBA – the obligation:

Jake is then dressed in scuba gear in a seemingly underwater environment. The same large figure from the bedroom has its legs dangling out of a tub. The piano from the crayon set is now overflowing with money, and the sheet music consists of a full spread of money instead of a singular dollar bill seen in the crayon room. The top of the piano is shown with the phrase “JUST POP THE LID RIGHT OFF!”, as if becoming successful is that easy. All of Danny’s fingertips are blue, which may represent feeling numb. All of these details could symbolize the feeling of drowning under the weight of expectations or feeling suffocated by the pressures of fame.

  • PORTAPOTTY – the ignition:

The number ‘66’ seems to be significant to the band with it appearing on the outside of the toilet and in the video announcing their band name. Something sparks inside of Jake while inside the burning portable toilet. He emerges with a confetti gun and a new look involving blue hair and hands. 

  • FOREST – the transformation:

Then the break in the song continues as Jake finds himself in a forest. There are shadowy figures, black and white flooring, red lights creating a curtain among the trees, and a trippy clip including reversed scenes (all of which seem to be a tribute to Dale Cooper’s dream sequence from the show Twin Peaks). [Edit Apr. 9, 2019: The forest setting is literally the same one used for the Forbidden Forest in the Harry Potter series. As a self-proclaimed Hufflepuff and HP fan, I’m embarrassed that I didn’t recognize this.] There’s a lot Jake has to grapple with on his own before rejoining his bandmates.

Jake emerges from the forest scene with a renewed energy, as if awoken from the nightmares. The past few years may have been a trial for this band, but now Push Baby is a force to be reckoned with.

Did I get any of this right? I have no clue, and I still have a lot of questions.
Do you agree or disagree with my explanations? Don’t know what to think?
Share your theories / interpretations / thoughts in the comments below.

1 COMMENT

  1. This review is awesome! I have loved them since Rixton, even made a twitter fan account, and I can’t agree more about this! I hope they will be recognized by the world even more.

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