Sharkk Heartt | This Will Hurt: Exclusive Video Premiere

The Tucson singer-songwriter embraces the inevitability of change in her video.

Sharkk Heartt shares some hard truths about the cruelty of devastation and renewal with her transfixing and transcendent new video for This Will Hurt — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.

The closing track from Tucson indie-pop singer-songwriter Lara Ruggles’ latest album Wars Our Mothers Fought, This Will Hurt reminds us that pain, suffering and loss inevitably give way to rebirth and new growth. That theme was brought home when she spent the month of May on the big island of Hawai’i earlier this year. As the National Parks Arts Foundation’s artist-in-residence, she was captivated by the story the landscape told. Centuries of transformation and regrowth were clearly visible all over the island in the paths of lava flows — darker, more recent flows leaving tracks across older, faded ones, which met areas rich with regrown vegetation along stark contrasting lines.

Ruggles began filming iPhone footage of landscapes she visited on the island, while gathering footage from the Prelinger Archive of transformations and disasters both natural and man-made, and combined the two sources to create Sharkk Heartt’s new video. The piece speaks to both the human impact on the environment, and the power of nature to evade human control.

Photo by Kevin Hainline.

“It was so special to be staying in Hawai’i as I put this video together,” she says. “The landscapes I encountered on the big island just couldn’t have represented this song any better — right down to these little magic synchronicities that kept happening when I had specific lyrics in mind, like catching footage of a sea turtle swimming by when I was looking for something to represent ‘We will lose what we forget to defend,’ or getting that heart someone had drawn in the sand on camera right before the wave washed it away for ‘we will think love cannot leave us.’ I’m so grateful to the National Parks Arts Foundation for that opportunity.”

This Will Hurt was written in 2017, during a songwriting retreat in Nederland, Colo., affectionately named Camp Ned. Songwriters in attendance were given the prompt ‘When all of this is over…’ and for Ruggles, this phrase generated an image of larger-than-life gods representing opposing worldviews. As they watch the world crumble and burn below them, they have one last conversation about where it all went wrong, but in the lyric, “It’s good to break when something needs to change,” the song leaves a small window of hope that something new could still emerge.

“There was a lot happening politically at that time that made the end of the world feel potentially not that far off,” Ruggles says, “and I think that feeling has only intensified since then. I think when we saw the way that so much blatant racism and LGBTQ+ discrimination and lack of care for other people rose to the surface, a lot of us had this hope that revealing all of that would give us this golden opportunity to heal it, and since then we keep finding out how resistant that shit is to change.”

Photo by Kevin Hainline.

The line, “but I will not intervene to save you pain,” may sound harsh or even cruel, but it was written as a boundary-setting on emotional labor — “like this idea of, I won’t step in to shield you from the impacts of your actions, I won’t coddle you and let you avoid the growth that needs to happen,” Ruggles says.

Ultimately, Ruggles still nurtures her belief in growth and transformation, and it’s the reason none of her songs is without a sense of hope in the possibilities still remaining. “Things will evolve and change whether we are onboard with it or not,” she says. “The part that’s up to us is whether they’ll change for the better.”

Ruggles will donate all Bandcamp sales of This Will Hurt through the end of 2023 to the Maui Mutual Aid fund to assist in wildfire recovery.

Watch the video for This Will Hurt above, hear and buy Wars Our Mothers Fought below, and find Sharkk Heartt on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Photo by Kevin Hainline.