DIRTBAG DUTIES: Sofia Zarzuela’s New Music Video for Sapphic Single “Blue Ribbon” 

Photos by Kelli McGuire / Words by Willa Rudolph

Today, NYC girl-grunge favorite Sofia Zarzuela releases her eye-candy music video to single “Blue Ribbon.” 

“‘Blue Ribbon’ is a 90s-inspired rock track in the vein of Hole orLiz Phair. It’s an ode to being fourteen and stealing tallboys from the the deli [editor’s note: please don’t steal our tallboys]. Inspired by movies like thirteen, Spring Breakers, and old Diesel ads, it takes a playful look at the ‘girls gone wild’ trope, following a group of campy schoolgirls having classic dirtbaggy fun,” Sofia describes. 

The track is the very song that made me name Sofia the “best scream in NYC.” I would always say, “What’s the one where you scream?” after her sets. The music video was shot by cinematographer Maceo Bishop (Emmy award winner, Hamilton, The Curse) and directed by actress Christine Spang (Succession, Ft Tilden.) 

The video depicts Sofia and her besties in school girl outfits, acting out adolescent fantasies of running around town stealing beer from deli’s, eating candy, smoking cigarettes, breaking rules, and practicing homoerotic dalliances with your girls. Her guttural shriek that acts as the chorus of the song perfectly captures the agony and the ecstasy that romantic feelings towards your best girlfriend as a teenage girl can be. The line between sisterhood and romantic love can be so blurry. “Devotion doesn’t mean anything / I miss wearing your clothes … / I miss being girls with you / I miss being girls…” is perhaps the most poignant line in the song. If you know you know…

The NYC born-and-raised singer tells The Deli, “I wrote ‘Blue Ribbon’ all at once in a cafe in New Orleans while recovering from a two year bout of writer’s block. I had just graduated from school in Ohio and I moved south with Stav and Billy (my guitarist and drummer besties) somewhat impulsively. We didn’t really know anybody there and all felt very rootless and homesick.”

“A huge theme on [my upcoming album] (and within my own life at the time) is forgiveness and making amends with people from the past. I was looking at poems I had written in high school about all these crazy fun friendships I had that ended in abrupt and devastating ways. I think that’s sort of a rite of passage for teenage girls. There was a line in one of them that said ‘Pabst Blue Ribbon, 125th street / Yellow hello kitty underwear, a souvenir from virginity.’ I thought that was very cute so I took it and ran!”

“The video was inspired by some of my favorite movies, namely Catherine Hardwicke’s thirteen and Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers. I also pulled from the “Be Stupid” Diesel ad campaign. I knew I wanted to make something sexy and silly and fun. All the girls in the video are my IRL besties which made shooting super fun too.” 

Sofia Zarzuela is Sofia (vocals), Stavros Lari (guitar), William Hay (drums), Dylan Hamburger (guitar), and Joe Kerwin (bass).

Directed by Christine Spang @christinemspang
Director of photography Maceo Bishop @maceobishop
Edited by Stephania Dulowski @Stephania.dulowski
Colorist Adam Raickovich @adamraickovich_color
Additional footage by Kelli Mcguire @creepykelli
Assistant camera Will Hagan
Makeup by frostie delite @frostiedelite

Schoolgirls: Lola Lancon, Luna Doherty Ryoke, Phoebe John Band: Stavros Lari, William Hay, Dylan Hamburger

SPECIAL THANKS TO… Olive Forgash, Jake Depinto, Alyssa Vitalino, Joe Kerwin, Oliver Ignatius, Adam Targove, Josh Heineman, Holy Fang Studios, Liza Mackeen-Shapiro.

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