First Watch: Big Ups, 'National Parks' The brash singer of the punk-influenced band Big Ups honors his single mom with a video for the song "National Parks."

Big Ups, 'National Parks'


From the moment I heard this new Big Ups song, "National Parks," with lyrics, "I think I saw her say to herself / This is everything I've missed," I wanted to know who she was. Then I saw this video, in which the central figure is a woman whose life is choreographed as whirling chaos. I wanted to know more. When I asked, Big Ups singer and songwriter Joe Galarraga told a story about the single mom who raised him:

"This song is intended as a dedication to my mother. It includes little vignettes about the time before I was born, after I moved out of her house, the future, etc. While the song aims to honor her life and her effort spent on raising my sister and my self, the coda also serves as a reflective piece about the person I want to be."

The song is from Big Ups' new album, Before A Million Universes. Capturing the song's spirit in pictures was an interesting undertaking. Joe Galarraga says he talked with brothers Robert and Adam Kolodny of the Brooklyn production company House of Nod, "and they immediately had some great ideas regarding how to visually communicate the song's ideas without replicating its exact narrative. We also specifically liked the idea of having a choreographed dance because we felt it complimented the energy of the music, but expressed it differently." That energy, akin to the brash sounds of Fugazi, make for an thrill ride of exploding sound.

Before A Million Universes is due out March 4 on Exploding In Sound (U.S.)/Tough Love (U.K.).