Ok. We can agree that Timotée Chalamet’s fireplace scene in Call Me By Your Name is a tearjerker. Now, what happens when you take that same energy and apply it to a music video? Well, singer-songwriter Cassidy King did just that with her song “Can’t Be Friends”.
The Ohio-native brings to life what happens when an untruthful relationship comes to an end and subsequent reflection of it within this sensual video directed by Charlotte Kennett and produced by production company Mother Fever. After recreating the pivotal Guadagnino scene, the music video spirals into different vignettes where King and her significant other get cozy and flirty, as she sings about the truth behind the relationship she was in. But the tables turn when King’s body is swapped with someone else revealing the truth, that King and her significant other are no longer together.
“When envisioning the music video I really just wanted to portray that feeling post breakup where you cannot stop envisioning your ex with someone else,” said King about her recent music video. “I just remember me repetitively sitting awake at 4am obsessing over the fact that they no longer wanted me and there was someone else out there who was going to give them everything I didn’t. This video is what I imagined my ex doing at 4am with someone else.”
This level of frankness has made King’s music into a bright, but pensive spot within indie pop. With elements of R&B, personal and poignant lyrics, and pop-forward melodies, King creates music that encapsulates her fans into her world. That world being an open diary where her deepest thoughts spring to life within her eclectic sound, that feels like a mix of BANKS, Halsey, and The Chainsmokers. But this level of openness is what attracts her fans like a moth to a flame and the transparency is therapeutic for King as well.
“The whole process [for ‘Can’t Be Friends’] was therapeutic. I visited back home for the first time after moving to L.A. and this was the first song I made with my collaborator TyC, who I have been working with for a few years,” said King. “I got dumped after the first month living out there and the moment I came home for a second I felt like I had a second to really reflect on the relationship and finish this song. I give a lot of credit to my collaborators because they really just see me walk into the studio and pour my guts out. I’ll be like “You won’t believe what happened this time!” and it’s just when they think the songs could not get more emotional, I swear.”
This level of introspection and honesty has been with King since she started releasing music in 2018. When King released the song “Professional Smiler”, a song about navigating mental health struggles, she kissed an on-screen girlfriend in the music video. From this point, King found the courage to drop her guard and reveal her true self, a proud, queer woman. That power resides in her music that reflects who she is and the stories of those still trying to find the words to tell their own tale.
“For me, it feels like my purpose and I’m so grateful to have a platform to share sapphic stories. There was a long time where I could not envision a future where I was even out. It took me years to grow into my skin and every single day I’m still working on it,” said King. “I grew up in a very small conservative town where I felt completely alone in whatever I was feeling. I clinged to any little piece of sapphic I could get there. I know how much it meant to me just hearing someone talk about being in a relationship with a woman. I dreamt about being comfortable just saying ‘Yeah, I’m gay!’. Now I get to sing about it.”
If you haven’t heard of King’s music, then you have plenty to catch up on. You can dive into her EPs Not So Picture Perfect and Concrete Walls to learn more about soul-baring singer. For many seeking to understand their identity or need that one song to listen to while you’re in your feelings about a special someone, you’ll want to put King’s music on full blast. While her tunes are bittersweet, they feel as bright as the California sun.
“It feels liberating to even say that because I’ve come a very long way with my sexuality. I remember growing up I felt like I did not have any sapphic songs to scream when I was heartbroken,” said King. “I needed that and ever since I wanted to be the one people screamed with in whatever they’re going through at the time. We need these stories. They make us feel heard and validated. So many stories feel unique to our community and I always want to amplify them.”
Check out the music video for “Can’t Be Friends” below.