demi lovato, “commander in chief”

Demi Lovato has never been shy towards her fans when it comes to speaking her mind, or sharing the more intimate details of her personal life. With less than three weeks left until election day, Lovato releases her new single “Commander In Chief”, an anti-Trump anthem that doesn’t hold back. The songstress begins with her direct message to President Donald Trump, asking the question, “Were you ever taught when you were young / If you mess with things selfishly, they’re bound to come undone? / I’m not the only one that’s been affected and resented every story you’ve spun.” 

Lovato’s beautiful vocal progressions and continued  critique of the President allow for a spine tingling feeling, as the listener is reminded of the tumultuous repercussions the country has faced over the past four years. Doubling down with the drop of the music video for “Commander In Chief”, Lovato allows for a more direct message to viewers. It depicts a group of Americans of all ages, races and nationalities, coming together as a united country and lip syncing the powerful lyrics of the song. It’s accompanied with a special request from Lovato: “Please join me and vote in this year’s election. Visit https://iwillvote.com/ for more information.”

Following the single’s release just 24 hours earlier, Lovato responded to clapback on her anti-Trump stance through her social media. “I literally don’t care if this ruins my career,” she wrote. “I made a piece of art that stands for something I believe in. And I’m putting it out even at the risk of losing fans. I’ll take integrity in my work over sales any day.”

Watch the official music video for “Commander In Chief” below.

eddy lee ryder, “vultures”

eddy lee ryder, “vultures”

Eddy Lee Ryder has released her brand-new music video for her awe-inspiring song, “Vultures”.  With a visual that flashes between color and black and white, Ryder compares her lover to a vulture, presumably as a metaphor for somebody who takes so much without giving a lot in return.  The video seems to represent the very end of a relationship, perhaps the moment she has come to the realization that she was not fulfilled the way she should be.  Because the video takes place almost entirely in the car, one may infer that this symbolizes an attempt to move away from a relationship that is harming her.  Also significant is a broken-down car that leaves her stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.  This seemingly suggests that she isn’t able to leave the relationship like she once thought.  This inability to leave illustrates the struggles of toxic romance in a rather poignant way.

We got to speak with Ryder briefly leading up to the new release.

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What was your first musical memory, or the first album you remember listening to?

When I was growing up, I only loved new, mainstream pop music. I remember being pretty obsessed with The Coors song, “Leave Me Breathless,” specifically that yodel. On the way to a day of skiing with my dad, I made him listen to that song for about two hours straight. Finally, he was like, “This is the last time, then my old people music.” He put on “Solsberry Hill” by Peter Gabriel. That song hit me like a ton of bricks… and I was hooked on classic rock from that moment.

What, specifically, inspired “Vultures”?

I wrote the first line about four or five years before I actually finished the song, so I knew I had the mood down before I figured out what the rest of the lyrics would eventually be. Around the start of the #MeToo movement, I was involved with a guy I thought wouldn’t treat me the way other men in the past had. As the story goes, he ended up treating me worse. He was slowly taking from me, and I felt picked apart. Once I realized that, I wrote the song in about ten minutes. 

The colors used in the video are gorgeous. Where did the concept for the video come from?

The concept of the music video was loosely based on The Birds. I wanted a very 1960s Hitchcockian mood. I wanted to be stalked by these vultures, which represent men in my life that I’ve known who have torn pieces of me away, little by little, the way that vultures do. The color palette was referential of vintage Hitchcock, and glitches that happen throughout are meant to segway from color to black and white to represent what’s being taken away by the vultures.

Any fun anecdotes from set?

We had one day to shoot this video due to time constraints, so it had to be done very fast. Because of this, in the aerial shots, there was a body double for me. The body double was a tall, slender man in a wig who offered up his car for the video. But probably the highlight of our stay, we were filming in California, and I booked a beautiful AirBnB that was reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour. When we got there, the Lyft driver dropped us off at the wrong place, so we had to lug our luggage–costumes and bags–up an incredible hill until we found the right place. That should have been the first sign of something ominous.

But when my stylist (and good friend) and I got there, we saw a puddle of blood splatter by the pool. We started calling my then-manager, who had supposedly checked in before us, but he wasn’t picking up. We both huddled in a corner in case there was a murderer on the loose for a long time, afraid to actually go in. We were prepared to cancel the shoot because we were convinced my then-manager had died. We called the police, and saw helicopters overhead. Turns out, my then-manager just left his phone charging in a different room, and was fine, so we figured we’d just ignore the blood splatters and check-in. In the meantime, the director and producer who we had yet to meet were well aware of the possible murder story that was unfolding; and I don’t think there is a better way to meet new people!

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I have a lot of new music in the pipeline. I’ve been writing nonstop, and I have been developing a concept album. If you like “Vultures,” I think you’ll be really excited for what’s to come!

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Ryder channels the experience of reflecting on a former relationship into a beautiful and heartbreaking visual with “Vultures”.  Check out the official premiere below.

reggie becton, “listenin'”

reggie becton, “listenin'”

Relationships in the modern era are anything but simple.  Because of social media and other ways that society sets standards, it can be hard to know what love is today.  In his new video for “Listenin’”, Reggie Becton gives his perspective on what it is like to be a male navigating love in today’s culture while also confronting toxic masculinity and toxic relationships in general.  With influences from past and present R&B artists, it is easy to be taken back to previous eras while also appreciating where music has gone since then.

The stunning visual illustrates the difficulties of being in love with someone when it isn’t easy to be with them for one reason or another.  The two love interests appear to be physically separated by a wall, perhaps as a metaphor for how it feels to be in such a situation.  This is likely to be the result of something much more complicated than one would initially be led to believe.  The lyrics demonstrate that Becton struggles with conflicting thoughts about his emotions.  It is evident from this and moments in the video, like the scene where he appears to be trying to work out a science experiment, that he is unsure which path to take when it comes to romance.  Becton remains vulnerable when expressing his feelings about love and he does it in a stunning way throughout the entirety of the video.  Perhaps many people his age identify with this very struggle.

trent toney, “my mind”

trent toney, “my mind”

In the new music video for his song “My Mind”, Trent Toney creates an intriguing visual where he and the subject of all of his woes are replaced by two stuffed animals.  This silly interpretation of the track should not take away from the heartbreaking words that he sings, however.  In the simplest sense, it is a breakup song.  With a dominant guitar, Toney sings about how unbearable it is to go on without his former love.  At first glance, it might seem like using stuffed animals takes away from the sadness of the lyrics. 

When listening and watching further, the song is loud and clear about how heartbreaking it is to go through a breakup.  The video paints this picture well.  From going through an old pile of photos from the relationship to trying to keep oneself busy by doing household chores or taking a long drive, Toney does an incredible job of creating imagery that the viewer can identify with.  Through a blend of lighthearted storytelling and heart wrenching lyrics, this video is the perfect balance of emotions.  It is also a great reminder that animals make perfect music video stars.

jessie wagner, “my darlin, my dear”

jessie wagner, “my darlin, my dear”

by: meredith schneider

Heartfelt songstress Jessie Wagner is revving up to release her new, gorgeous, love-induced track “My Darlin, My Dear” tomorrow. As someone with quite an impressive musical resume, Wagner really knows how to create an ambiance, as she frames a very relatable and unfortunate experience in an enchanting way. Admits the artist of the track:

There’s always that guy that you know is no good for you, but you keep going back anyway. This song is an amalgamation of the guys I wished would love me and not just keep me around for convenience.

To really feel the emotions that went into this track, one must experience it. So check out our premiere of the lyric video below, and try to convince us we aren’t burning a candle and playing it on the big screen on repeat all evening!

“My Darlin, My Dear” is out tomorrow. You can pre-save the track here.

sir sly, “material boy”

sir sly, “material boy”

by: tiffany czech

In a world where material possessions meet spiritual growth, one may find themselves just as conflicted as the character in Sir Sly’s music video for “Material Boy”.  Here, the material boy is someone who appears to be in a state of distress as he works through his emotions to leave behind any care in the world about material items.  Through watching him chew up wads of cash and hide from all of the expensive things he owns; the viewer comes to understand that he yearns for more in his life.  He yearns to be free from the material chains that are constraining him.  The catchy chorus of the song reminds the listener that our material boy has found a spiritual void within himself and he strives to fill it.

What is great about what we see in this video is that it doesn’t need to follow one meaning for everybody who watches it.  It could mean struggling to come to terms with the current political landscape, as the second verse alludes to, just as much as it could represent the struggle to leave an unfulfilling job that pays well.  The common theme amongst the profuse number of possible interpretations is the yearning to find something that makes one feel whole.  “Material Boy” both fascinates and perplexes, as well as provides the best form of entertainment for the viewer.  Lead singer Landon Jacobs notes: “My highest hope is that this video can mean something a little different for anyone that watches it, but at the very least, I hope it is entertaining.”