Strange Men leave you in a cold sweat on Hot Nights thanks to their fever-dream video — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The debut single from the San Francisco indie-punk duo of singer-drummer Róisín Isner and guitarist / bassist Ashley Clayton, Hot Nights is a 78-second nightmare of pure momentum and seething intensity reminiscent of The Bobby Lees. Composed in Róisín’s head while waiting for the bus on a chaotically cold evening, the track’s minimalist, mantra-like lyrics hark back to a period in New York, summoning a hazy image of warm East Coast nights and the vaguely sinister shadows of youth:
“Hot days make hot nights
Cold days make cold nights
On hot nights I come alive, come alive, come alive, come alive…
Hot dawn, then day’s end
Hot nights, strange men
On hot nights I come alive, come alive, come alive, come alive…”
Speaking of youth: Isner was 17 when she found a burned CD wedged between the crown molding and the ceiling at a punk show at San Francisco’s Bottom Of The Hill club. A year later she met fellow teenager Clayton at a birthday party. It would be a few more years before they realized the demo she’d found was his. Flash-forward to 2023 and they’re Strange Men. Róisín plays drums, Ashley plays an eight-string guitar/bass he made out of scavenged wood, and they both sing.
The fever-pitched video for Hot Nights was directed by and features Panda Dulce (aka Kyle Casey Chu), a Sundance Uprise award-winning filmmaker. Dulce and Isner are longtime friends and collaborators, and won Best Short Screenplay at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival this year.