‘I Bet You Can’ fuses elated grooves and synths with Welch-inspired hooks laden with exhilaration.
Building into a maelstrom crescendo of keys, brass and alt-pop percussion; it’s a wholeheartedly original statement of the band’s progress so far.
“’I Bet You Can’ was written in a storm and a haze,” Dark Tropics explain to Hot Press.
“It’s a song about embracing your youth and dancing your way through uncertainty whilst avoiding the perils of petty discontent.”
The video was filmed in two locations in one day of shooting, flicking between the Ulster Sports Club for the ‘live’ footage and dance routine to The Harrison Chambers of Distinction Hotel in Belfast.
’90s decor of the Ulster Sports Club is paralleled with palatial rooms, providing the perfect background for the concept.
“The locations needed to be juxtaposing,” Rio adds of the video’s setting.
“It’s something we play with a lot and can be seen in a lot of our videos, the competing light and the dark themes.
It’s a method that’s always been used in media, especially in theatre, and it’s really fun to play around with.
We had two ideas of what we needed, a beautiful, regal venue and somewhere that could be easily manipulated with angles to look like different shots.”
As Gerard explains, the video was helmed by Kevin Msechu, “who we really love to work with as much as we can”: “He has an amazing eye and always knows exactly what’ll work for us.
He’s directed most of our videos and is always able to make any space visually interesting. Kevin’s been a huge part of our visual journey and understands exactly what we need.”
In terms of costume design, Rio wanted to play on Madonna’s performance of vogue with bright pinks and beauty spots and very playful and flirty outfits.
“I wanted to wear something that looked like nightwear, or historical undergarments,” she continues.
“That’s where the idea for the bed shots came in. Not overtly sexualising the shots in this outfit was important to me, as I didn’t feel it fit the song.”
“We wanted the video to be colourful and have two distinct moods, which play off each other,” Gerard remarks.
“We had a basic concept of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette juxtaposed with more of a Blondie Parallel Lines era feel. The video hopefully emphasises the joy and energy in the song.
“It’s the first song we’ve released that’s got a proper groove you can work off and dance to.
We’ve released a lot of slower ballads in the past but once we started properly getting the chance to play live after the Covid madness we enjoyed playing the new faster song so much more live and just kept writing more and more of them.”
Dark Tropics were drawn together by a bond that stretched from Ireland to Morocco. Musicians Rio and Gerard found common ground in the form of Radiohead, Aretha Franklin and The Velvet Underground – plus influences like William Somerset Maugham, Paul Auster and John Cooper-Clarke.
Exploring the burning highs of lust, the fragility of heartache and the sting of betrayal, Dark Tropics fuse the contemporary and classic.