Video Premiere: Austin’s Under the Rug Channel Sylvia Plath’s Spirit in “mad girl’s love song”

Under The Rug © 2024
Under The Rug © 2024
Austin indie band Under the Rug channel Sylvia Plath’s emotionally charged fervor into their own “mad girl’s love song,” transposing her timeless poem into a musical fever dream reckoning with identity, expectation, and human desire to be understood.
Stream: “mad girl’s love song” – Under the Rug




I shut my eyes, love, and all the world it drops dead…

It’s been over 70 years since Sylvia Plath’s Mad Girl’s Love Song was first published, and her harrowing words hold as true today as they did then.

Described by scholars as a young woman’s struggle between “memory and madness,” fantasy and reality, and heartbreak itself, Plath’s famous villanelle is passionate, pained, intense, and unrelenting in that intensity. “I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead,” Plath writes repeatedly, temporarily muting the chaotic noise within and around her troubled narrator.

Austin indie band Under the Rug bring that same emotionally charged fervor to their own “mad girl’s love song,” transposing Plath’s timeless poem into a musical fever dream reckoning with identity, expectation, societal pressure, and the deeply human desire to be understood.

How could you truly know me?” lead singer Casey Dayan poses, as much to herself as to some far-off love interest. It’s a question many of us have asked ourselves as well; a question that seldom comes with easy answers.

happiness is easy - Under The Rug
happiness is easy – Under The Rug
i shut my eyes, love
and all the world it drops dead

i lift my lids and it all emerges again
i think i made you up inside my head
i shut my eyes, love
and all the world it drops dead
how could you truly know me?
how could you truly know me?
how could you truly –
understand me the way that i am?
i shut my eyes, love
and all the world it drops dead

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “mad girl’s love song,” the lead single off part 1 of their forthcoming double-album album, happiness is easy (independently out August 16, 2024). A longtime favorite of Atwood Magazine‘s pages (we praised their sophomore album Dear Adeline as “a truly beautiful, heart-wrenchingly human breakup record… A collection of raw, honest songs that power through life’s darkness to once again see the light”), Under the Rug have a knack for crafting irresistibly bold, catchy songs set against achingly intimate, soul-stirring lyrics.

The trio of Casey Dayan, guitarist Sean Campbell, and drummer Brendan McQueeney describe their ambitious, sprawling 2-part, 30-track fourth album as an “exploration of the challenges of pursuing happiness,” blending “poignant personal themes with universal questions on life and fulfillment.” Given this, it feels only fitting that “mad girl’s love song,” an intensely intimate, yet deeply relatable upheaval, should serve as the record’s introduction.

i spent my lifetime looking out the window
i saw those blue flowers shiver when the wind blows
i will grow old and forget your name
i spent my lifetime looking out the window
i shut my eyes, love
and all the world it drops dead

i lift my lids and it all emerges again
made you up inside my head
i shut my eyes, love
and all the world it dies
Under The Rug © 2024
Under The Rug © 2024



A co-write of sorts between Dayan and Plath (how many people can say that), “mad girl’s love song” is a tribute with plenty of creative license.

“This song is an homage to Sylvia Plath’s eponymous villanelle, which I’ve always admired. I wanted to write something new from it, or inspired by it, without strictly using her language in a derivative way,” Dayan tells Atwood Magazine. “Sylvia’s poem, to me, at least, feels like it’s about a character’s relationship to an imagined version of someone and the expectations that character superimposes onto them. The dissonance between those expectations and reality drives the character mad.”

“In our song, things had to move differently,” she adds. “The speaker is more concerned with the dissonance between who they are and how the expectations the ‘you’ might have of THEM. It feels true to me, as a trans person, who is often being interpreted on the internet.”

i dreamt a bus hit both of us
while standing on the road
and floating up above our bodies
both of us could know
how could you truly know me?
how could you truly know me?
how could you truly –
understand me the way that i am?
understand me the way that i am?
understand me the way that i am?
Under The Rug © 2024
Under The Rug © 2024



The “mad girl’s love song” music video adds to the song’s themes of existential crisis and inner/outer disconnect.

Filmed with older video equipment, the visual is intentionally shot on low fidelity film to evoke a sense of nostalgia befitting the music itself.

“I loved making this video!” Dayan beams. “We filmed it in a night with a nostalgic ’80s tape camcorder and a chalkboard with the hopes of making something that looks like the song sounds. To me this song has so much longing, to be understood, to be seen, and a little bit of madness from the impossibility of the character’s need for those things. Eyeballs, mirrors, reflections, bodies, the song and the video are maybe asking, ‘Can we ever truly be known or understood? And if not, doesn’t that just make you crazy?’

Like the poem it builds off, Under the Rug’s “mad girl’s love song” is relentlessly aching; a soul-stirring meditation on the rift between desire and truth, identity and perception. If anything, the band have made Plath’s words a little more accessible to those who may not be as well versed in poetry – creating a pathway for the next generation to connect with her enduring oeuvre.

Whether you’re caught up in your own battle between memory and madness, or simply in the market for a new folk rock banger, “mad girl’s love song” is worth its weight in gold. Watch Under the Rug’s new music video exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for more to come off the band’s massive fourth album as they tease new music over the coming months. Part one of happiness is easy is out August 16, 2024!

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Stream: “mad girl’s love song” – Under the Rug



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happiness is easy - Under The Rug

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