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