Yuval Noah Harari wrote, “In the near future, the intersection of artificial intelligence and biotechnology will reshape the future of life itself.” This idea, and the reality that biotechnology is being used to help people who suffer from PTSD, were concepts that fed into “Bad Chemicals”, the latest release from Washington DC’s Broke Royals.
A warning: it is difficult to get through this clip without tears. The combination of anthemic rise and strong hooks comes together with a heartbreaking storyline. We are introduced to a veteran who suffers from the memories he experienced while on duty — most notably the passing of his sister. Back at home, he goes on a walk through the woods (video director Scott Hansen’s sweeping natural-world shots at work again), following her spirit and revelling in the memories of their shared childhood.
The song is ambitious, and though it’s easy to get swept up in the movement of the rhythm —which pulses in with perfect timing, giving rise to emotion — the lyrics carry a depth, a weight of the pressures of the future, and what that means for all of us. Completing a video trifecta after “As Long As I Can See” and “Higher”, “Bad Chemicals” shows a continuation of growth and inspiration for this songwriting duo.