Carpetgarden Pens Personal Essay About Their Latest Music Video

Carpetgarden — the 20-year-old non-binary Daniel Johnston-esque wunderkind — writes a personal essay for their latest video and single “Can Ghosts Be Gay?”.

“Can Ghosts be Gay?” is a song I wrote in my bedroom. It is about remembrance of past love, friends, and experiences whether good or bad.  It is basically just a brain-dump of emotions about how hard life can be in this new age; love, loss, a ton of shit. The meaning behind the song is definitely up to interpretation.

The opening lyrics “I don’t know why but I hate myself, I don’t know why but I need some help please. I don’t know why but I wanna die.” is referring to the struggles I had growing up as an impressionable young person during the age of the internet and I feel like a lot of people can relate. With the almost obsessive use of social media within Gen-Z, it kinda caused me to compare myself to these standards that are pushed into me in the form of an infinite scroll, updated almost every second. This kind of influence on youth, I feel, has created a very nihilistic, and broken generation. Although there are so many people normalising a way more unfiltered and raw approach to social media, the feelings are still there. This song definitely isn’t a love song. It’s about the remembrance of someone special and blaming yourself for not being the perfect person you portray yourself as through a screen. 

The video doesn’t have any story arch or narrative behind it, but I chose to shoot in important locations to me, and the music scene that I grew as an artist within. The bedroom that can be seen in the video is actually my best friend, Cass’ bedroom. I chose to include this because 1. It’s really cute and 2. It’s also a location that is attached to so many memories that inspire the music I make today.

We’ve had countless art sessions day and night inside that room, and is a super important place for me creatively. Another significant location is the venue that we shot outside of; it’s pretty much the place that inspired me to take music seriously. I’ve been to hundreds of shows there over the years and is where I met most of the creatives that I surround myself with today. I think that a lot of young artists can relate to the feeling of waiting in line for hours to see a band that really inspires you, and creates basically the soundtrack to your life. Seeing artists like The Garden, The Drums, and Surf Curse/Current Joys really made me want to express myself in the way that they do.

This song definitely isn’t a love song. It’s about the remembrance of someone special and blaming yourself for not being the perfect person you portray yourself as through a screen. 

The cast of the video are all of my best friends. I chose to include them in the video because not only are they my friends, but every single one of them is a creative, who expresses themselves in such different ways that are true to their personalities. I love cool vibes and unique expression, and it’s essential that I’m surrounded by it. All of my friends have a major creative interest like fashion, music, and art. The cool thing is that we all do everything ourselves. The nature of DIY is very consistent in the way that we create and express ourselves. If we think of a design for a cool shirt we want to wear, we just make it. If we want cute a new poster for our rooms, we paint it. Being in that type of environment, and being surrounded by like minded people is very important to how I create and live my life.

In the video, I’m giving a very true performance of the song, meanwhile, there is always something messing with me. Whether it’s getting hit in the head with stuffed animals or getting pushed and pulled around there’s something trying to keep me from singing the song. With this, I tried to express the hardships I’ve faced in the past. It’s supposed to represent getting through the abuse life can put you through, and getting through it. I’ve definitely had a tough time going through life for literally just being me, but it has given me some sort of second skin. Things really do get easier and surround yourself with people with good intentions and good energy definitely helped me realise that. 

Watch carpetgarden’s video for “Can Ghosts Be Gay” below and keep up to date with their work on Instagram.

Enjoyed this article? Help keep independent queer-led publishing alive by becoming a BRICKS community member for early bird access to our cover stories and exclusive content for as little as £2.50 per month.