In the new video for Meg & Dia’s “American Spirit,” which premiered last week on Forbes, the sisters are visibly crying to each other, muttering words such as, “I should have been happy for you,” and, “You’re not alone.” They’re about to face their close call to death by a camera-robot-director in the year of 2036.

The video, which comes fresh off the release of the sisters’ surprise album happysad, released last Friday, July 26th via Pure Noise Records, is a welcome addition to the sisters’ relentless pursuit of their passion.

For the past eight years, sisters Meg and Dia Frampton had parted ways and forged their own paths. Lead singer Dia’s time on The Voice unexpectedly caused band tension when she became runner-up on the reality show’s inaugural season in early 2011 and recorded a solo album, as per contract by Universal. Dia tried to hold the band together as much as she could until their differences set them apart.

In this video, Meg tears up behind Dia and mutters, “I just felt left behind.”

But from those differences and years apart diving into solo projects and soul searching, Meg and Dia both seem to have come into their own. Their new album happysad showcases their rebirth as a band and as sisters, eight years later, who are older, wiser and a hell of a lot more sure of themselves.

A very modern synth-pop record complete with catchy hooks and lead singer Dia Frampton’s signature breathy, warm and raspy voice, happysad feels like a very mature album. From sisters who had been making music since their teen years — with songs inspired by books, Charles Dickens, and covered in teen angst (“Monster,” shown below) — their new album’s tight production and highly textured instrumentation, from synthy drumbeats, groovy bass lines and funky guitar riffs, ooze with pure energy and excitement of their reunion.

Album opener “American Spirit” (and one of my favorite songs off the new album) is a cool, electronic-pop song that captivates from the start. It draws you in with its cool airy synths and, when the beat drops and Dia’s breathy voice comes in, you’re immediately hooked.

The song, to me, is about searching and seeking faith and reason in the American way of life. With lyrics, “They say it’s all in meditation / But  when I sit still, I’m afraid what I’ll find,” the song is about finding help in spirituality, only to find that it all starts within yourself.

Directed by Saman Kesh (Ed Sheeran, Calvin Harris) and Justin Hopkins, the terrifying Black Mirror-esque video has the girls facing their biggest fears and struggles, but coming back stronger, better than ever, which correlates with their real-life journey as sisters.

“We got to explore our fun, quirky sides with this video, and dive deeper into our relationship as sisters,” Dia says. “It shows us coming together at the end, which is exactly how I feel in real life. I always feel stronger and more clear-headed with my sister around — like I can take on anything, whether it’s my own inner critic, a breakup, or yes, a giant, crazy, killer robot.”

Meg also explains: “Happysad, to me, means enjoying the whole spectrum of human emotions without getting lost too far in either the pressure of needing to feel totally happy all the time or losing yourself in darkness as a subtle form of self-inflicted unworthiness.”

The 10-track album laced in emotions has the sisters open up about their strained relationship as sisters and best friends torn apart. But, as honest as the writing is, the album is musically upbeat — something I feel captures the sisters’ palpable excitement of the “magic” that happens when two sisters reunite, both professionally and personally. And you can feel that.

Meg & Dia will be on the road for their first tour back together this September. Tickets are on sale now.

  • September 14 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
  • September 15 – Las Vegas, NV – Bunkhouse
  • September 16 – Scottsdale, AZ – Pub Rock
  • September 18 – San Diego, CA – SOMA Side Stage
  • September 19 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
  • September 20 – San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw
  • September 23 – Boston, MA – ONCE Ballroom
  • September 24 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg

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Meg & Dia. Courtesy Photo: Elliot Ingham.
Meg & Dia. Courtesy Photo: Elliot Ingham.