It has been a couple of years since we last heard from Philadelphia indie rockers Joy Again, who have been having an interesting year on TikTok. The band’s single “Looking Out for You,” which was released a few years ago, has reemerged on the popular social media app and is currently sitting on Spotify’s US Top 200 charts. Its warm sound and all-too relatable lyrics make it an instant favorite, which explains why the track has over 130 million streams to date. Topping such a track is quite the task, but the guys might have some luck with their new single, “What Lovers Do.”
With “What Lovers Do,” Joy Again describe twisted moments in a relationship that are interpreted as endearing instead of messy. Over hazy keyboard, vocalist Sachi DiSerafino sings, “I like when you treat me like the fool / Is that just what lovers do?” and “I like when you’re sweet and when you’re cruel / Is that just what lovers do?” The vulnerable vocals and skeletal music place the track into a slightly eerie space, but also reinforce the complicated situation at hand.
The music video is just as abstract, as we watch Sachi wandering along a boardwalk and lying awake in bed. We get the sense that he feels trapped or isolated by someone or something, which is all the more clear with the recurring “bird in a cage” motif that plays throughout the video. At the end, however, the bird seems to have been released, signaling a change in tone. You can check it out below.
You can listen to “What Lovers Do” on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.