Video Voyager: Tadgh Billy King’s “sit and wait”

Irish alt-rocker Tadgh Billy King (pronounced like “Tiger” without the “er”) is a multi-faceted an actor, writer, director, a composer for theatre, and an award-winning classical singer. He didn’t set out to re-create the sound of frustrated punk rock in his song “sit and wait,” instead he’s unapologetically adding to the conversation through a modern lens with this new release. The result is a blistering, blunt and rousing ride through noisy hardcore, math-y punk and gazy walls of sound. At times brash, at times sublimely ethereal.

Tadgh’s immersive artistry speaks to its conception during times of deep introspection. His cathartic musicality spans post-punk, goth, noisy hardcore, and math-y punk, and is inspired by such artists as Bauhaus, Drive Like Jehu, Fugazi, Joy Division, Nirvana, Radiohead, and contemporary Irish bands such as Fontaines D.C., The Murder Capital, Gilla Band and Just Mustard.

The video for “sit and wait” depicts Tadgh’s blunt outlook on the world that surrounds with us bright colors and moving images over stagnant objects that reveals the subtle undertones of confusion and frustration that sits with a lot of younger people today.

We got the chance to speak with Tadgh about a more in depth look into his music video. Watch and read below:

Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?

The song is trying to encapsulate a feeling, which seems to be pretty rampant among late-teen to early-to-mid twenty year olds. It’s a sort’ve existential dread that is hard to articulate. I think it comes from a recognition that there’s a lot of problems in the world today and there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of clear, viable ways to fix them. So it can feel like people can find themselves sitting and waiting for something catastrophic to happen. While, at the same time, they’re just trying to figure out their own lives. The song is about that frustration. We are left discussing the things that disappoint us, but some of these things are completely out of our control. And then, sometimes, these discussions we have with each other can cause internal rifts within friendships and relationships. 

With this video, I wanted to try and capture these feelings. I felt that by filming people in their late teens and early twenties moving through their own emotions and navigating relationships, while also projecting some weird, beautiful and disturbing imagery that falls within the themes I’m talking about in the song onto them, I could capture and convey this strange feeling we all have for our collective future.

What was the inspiration behind this video (visuals, storyline, etc.)?

I always thought that projection onto a body was really cool. There’s a really interesting theatre/dance company in Australia called Chunky Move and I remember watching a video for this piece they did called Mortal Engine and just being completely enamoured by it. My video is very different to that piece, but it sparked my interest in using projection onto people. I got a hold of a little projector and thought “this is perfect.”

I also really enjoy art that on the surface is really colourful, vibrant, attractive and interesting to watch, but if someone was to look deeper or read into it more they could start discovering multiple layers or narratives to the piece. In this video, try following the couples and seeing what narratives you put onto them from just the emotion you see on screen. What overall narrative or storyline jumps out at you when all the elements (the couples interacting, the emotional expressions from the performers, the lyrics and music, the images being projected) are combined? I know what I was trying to say with the song and video, but that doesn’t matter anymore. What’s really interesting to me is how my intention with the art isn’t important after a certain point. What really matters is what the audience or the viewers pick up and what they project (haha get it) onto the video. 

Late in the process came the idea of adding the first scene of me coming into my room and the last scene of me waking up. This is part of a larger narrative that will unfold across my music, but you’ll just have to follow along to see where it goes.

What was the process of making this video?

When I decided that I wanted a lot of people for the video I just started asking my friends. Everyone you see in the video (all credited in the video description) are artists themselves who are either studying or working (or both) in Dublin and Ireland, creating work that helps to make the city and country more vibrant every day.

For the background video that was projected onto the performers I compiled footage of anything that was interesting to me and fit the vibe of the song. Then I messed around with the colours to make them more vibrant and built the video around the song.

I wrangled as many people as I could together and did a few takes with them in front of the camera and projection, trying out different things that I, or they, thought could be interesting. I directed them through different emotions, asked them to just stare deadpan into the camera, asked them to debate a few different things with each other (nothing incredibly serious), took them to extremes and just kinda had fun with it.  Once everyone else was recorded I filmed myself singing the song. Ultimately, I wanted to let the imagery and people in my video do the talking. Editing it took a little bit of time, just because there was so much footage, but it was a very fruitful experience that allowed me to create something interesting to watch.

The lasting message I want this video to have is that despite life’s challenges, building a positive community and creating art that inspires you is the way forward. The making of this video itself is an example of that. I hope this inspires others to make cool art with the people around them.

Connect with Tadgh Billy King via:
Website // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // YouTube // TikTok // Spotify


Video Voyager: Kristen Rae Bowden’s Video for “Hard to Love”

Kristen Rae Bowden

Kristen Rae Bowden’s work is a penchant for clever metaphorical turns of phrases, raw emotionality, and imaginative musical arrangements. Her musicality stretches through adventurous journeys with a dramatic flair, melding classic rock and prog-rock melodies to highly personal emotional explorations. She counts as inspiration such diverse artists as Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Primus, Radiohead, Joni Mitchell, John Prine, and legendary musical theater composer Stephen Sondheim.

Her new single “Hard to Love” was actually written with an unanswered question in mind: Can you restart a heart? Kristen didn’t have the answer at the time of writing this which is why the song never answers the question definitively.

The video visually pulses alongside the music. When the chorus arrives, there’s a depiction a woman forming in the lines of the beating heart. She breaks out, shattering the heart and finds freedom. Set in a magenta hue, Kristen is seen singing the verses, almost like she trying to find the answer to her question.

We spoke with Kristen about her video, what it means, and how she came up with the idea of the video:

Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?

When I wrote “Hard to Love” I was grappling with what you might call “post-broken-heart syndrome”. Just like a physical wound scars over with harder, less flexible skin, I felt my broken heart had healed in many ways, but I felt numb, hardened, and incapable of intimacy. I thought, is this my new normal? Feeling so much less alive than I used to? And I realized I was hiding, dimming my light on purpose, so I couldn’t get hurt again. 

The story of “Hard to Love” is all about that feeling: hardening your heart after a breakup like it’s a fortress, not letting anyone all the way in. And at the same time missing how it felt when your heart was open and you were vulnerable, but free. You can’t have both. You can’t shore up your defenses so you don’t get hurt and live life to it’s fullest simultaneously. 

The song is centered around a metaphorical question: “Can you restart a heart?” Given its inspiration, when I wrote the song I knew I wanted it to be centered sonically around a heartbeat. And then when it came to the video, I was excited to get to see that heart beating. So I knew I wanted animation to be the vehicle. 

I also wanted the world of the video to be different from the real world, to express how alien, fake, and two dimensional the world can feel when you’re anxious and hiding yourself.

What was the inspiration behind this video (visuals, storyline, etc.)?

I wanted to metaphorically express the way “post-broken-heart syndrome” feels, and I knew the heart would be the central image. So I came up with the idea of a girl hiding inside of her heart, which she’s turned into a fortress of protection. No one is allowed in, but no one is allowed out either, so she has essentially imprisoned herself for her own safety. Veins turn to vines and wrap around her wrists and ankles like shackles. 

She grows weary of her self-imposed cage and breaks the heart in order to be free, but even then she finds herself on a cliff, alone. All of this imagery, to me, really works to express the feelings of a fear of intimacy.

I also thought the video should have a human aspect. I’m there singing the song in this pink x-ray landscape where a human is out of place and shouldn’t really exist. That’s how I felt when I wrote the song, lost in uncharted territory.

The storyline shifts in the bridge of the song, and I love that you can see my human frustration in that “I can’t go on this way” moment. 

The lyrics of the song never offer any hope or assurance that yes, you can “restart a heart”, but the musical section after the bridge has the feeling of hope and triumph. I wanted the video imagery to push that feeling into a certainty. So I went with the idea of growth and blooming to represent that hope, and I love watching the glowing heart grow into a garden.

What was the process of making this video?

I had been playing with the FlipaClip app (flip-book style animation) while dreaming up the conceptual images for this video, so I learned a little bit about how time consuming animation can be and what an awesome skill it is. I knew I wanted the finished video to look more artistically advanced than anything I was going to be able to do.

Through a mutual friend I was very lucky to find Pat Bradley, award-winning animator and illustrator at Spring Shoe Animation. I was thrilled when he signed on for the animated portions, and to edit the video into the imaginary pink x-ray world. I sent him the storyboard I’d made with pieces of amateur animation and drawings of the girl in the heart, and we set up the video shoot together through more mutual friends, Sanjay Suchak and Stephen Thomas.

The video shoot itself was a lot of fun. I sang along with the song in front of a green screen, and though it took me a couple hours to loosen up, eventually I was able to let go of my inhibitions and really express some of that frustration and movement you see in the final product.

Pat did an incredible job taking my crudely drawn ideas and putting them into cohesive, flowing lines that tell the story of the song. He also integrated me into the animated world in a way that I hadn’t imagined. 

Connect with Kristen Rae Bowden via:

Website // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // YouTube // TikTok // Spotity // Soundcloud

Video Voyager: “Let the Healing Begin” by Sahffi Lynne

Sahffi Lynne is an international medicine musician and vocal coach, offering their music, meditations, ceremonies, and teachings as medicine to illuminate our connection as human beings.

They just released their music video for their moving single “Let the Healing Begin,” an acoustic folk-like song about using creative processes to heal from grief and pain. The video depicts this kind of healing by way of 3 separate forms of art. Sahffi is depicted writing a song, a woman is depicted painting, and a man is depicted dancing.

The video is a beautiful piece that complements the single perfectly. Everything about it, from the people to the setting to the action is stunning. Even as we watched it, it provided catharsis as a viewer, almost like we felt seen.

“My own experiences have shown me that with a combination of meditation, creativity, plant medicines, and professional support, one can truly heal trauma and reclaim their birthright of living in love. I am honored to carry the medicine of music to teach and guide those interested in doing the necessary work to connect with their true voice and purpose,” shares Sahffi.

We got a chance to speak with Sahffi about their song and video and dove into the specific artistic choices:

Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?

Actually, the interesting thing about this song is that it was completely channeled! I often hear music in the wind or hear melodies in the woods, yet this is the only time (so far!) that I watched my hand write the lyrics without a clue of what I was writing! I then picked up my guitar, and as I read the lyrics, the song just poured out of me. The message, “you can let the darkness win, or you can let the healing begin,” was so profound for me at that specific moment of my life. I was struggling to move forward after a bitter breakup, an illness that temporarily kept me from singing and working, and a subsequent move out of my home because of income lost. This song was a beautiful reminder for me that I had the choice to continue on in life or give up. The song gave me strength and truly helped to heal my heart!

I was talking with a friend after the album, “Pulse of Evolution,” came out in 2021. (“Let the Healing Begin” was released on that album.) I told her I’d love for more people to hear the song, as I hoped it would touch others as it did me. She reminded me that many people “consume with their eyes” these days (as she put it!), and her words planted a seed that a beautiful video needed to be created for this powerful song!

I am grateful so many others resonate with this song’s message of hope and strength, and I am proud the video represents and reflects the message of this song so beautifully.

What was the inspiration behind this video (visuals, storyline, etc.)?

The video originally was going to be an animation, yet the plans for that fell through. I didn’t know how I was going to make a video, yet a Facebook friend, Maranda Kosten, reached out saying she felt called to talk with me about how we could work together. I thought perhaps she would be interested in voice lessons, (which she did end up taking!), yet she mentioned she worked for Do Good Video Productions. Within a couple of weeks we were meeting with the team at Do Good, along with my director, Lucas de Britto, talking about making a video! I couldn’t believe how easy it was to have found such an amazing team of people as excited about this song and project as I was!

My last hurdle was funding, yet I was grateful that over 150+ of my community supporters donated to my birthday campaign to make it happen!

The storyline follows three artists (a dancer, a painter, and me, a musician), from their lowest point, through creation, and ultimately to their reconnection of their spirit. Throughout it all, they each have elders watching over them, encouraging them with their silent wisdom and strength. I love how the video shows the process of healing includes the movement of creation!

One fun fact: the video starts out in muted colors and becomes more vibrant by the end. The inspiration for that effect was “The Wizard of Oz!”

What was the process of making this video?

This project was a year in the making! It started with a seed of an idea, then quickly jumped to a crowd sourcing campaign. The IndieGoGo campaign was a huge success, with over 150+ of my supporters making contributions, and one angel investor matching the total! I am so grateful for the support I receive for my music!

With my community’s support, we started site visits to the location of the video, my dear friend’s private land in Pennsylvania lovingly called “Hawk’s Ridge.” Magically, the dates for the shoot in May worked for everyone involved, and we were grateful for beautiful weather that weekend!

Do Good Productions was wonderful to work with, offering a fantastic production and creative team, and the shoot went off without a hitch. In fact, we all mentioned how unusual it is to have everything fall into place so easily! My director, Lucas de Britto, was also the editor, and I am grateful for his sweet temperament and amazing talent.

Everything came together for a holiday 2023 release, and I am super proud of this community-supported project! I hope everyone will be touched by the song and story line of the video as I have been.

Connect with Sahffi Lynne via:

Website / Instagram / Facebook / YouTube / Spotify

Video Premiere: The Flip Phones Debut Their Music Video for “Man Made Moon”

The Flip Phones are the folk rock duo making waves with their debut EP, Better in the Dark, now streaming.

They’ve just released the music video for their thought provoking single “Man Made Moon.” The intimate setting of the video, with Ryan and Lindsey performing for the viewer in a single shot, allows the viewer to really become enveloped in the song. The camera almost acts like the eyes of the viewer, going back and forth between the two. Because the camera never stops rolling and it’s just the one shot, it flows quite well with the atmosphere of the song.

They play with light in the video as well, fitting seeing as the song was initially inspired by a man made moon they read about. The camera being on the move the whole time also adds an interesting effect with shadow, some shots are more lit than others and some shots you can’t really see the artist’s faces. It’s actually quite brilliant in it’s simplicity.

We got the opportunity to speak with the folk rock duo about their video and the song:

Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?   

“Man-Made Moon” was inspired by an article about an artificial moon meant to help illuminate cities and light up the night sky. It made us wonder: Is more light, specifically human-created light, really a good thing? Or should we sometimes embrace the darkness?

This song is the EP opener and lead single, and it asks the question “Are we better in the dark?” “Man-Made Moon” sets the stage for the lyrical themes throughout Better in the Dark, which explore topics such as humans vs. nature and darkness vs. light.

Given the subject matter of the song, we aimed to contrast the natural darkness of the filming location with the artificial lighting behind us to reflect the dark and light themes in the song.

What was the inspiration behind this video (visuals, storyline, etc.)?

The idea with this video was to capture the energy of our live performance in a studio environment while using light and dark textures to create the atmosphere. 

What was the process of making this video?

We made this video with Luke Justin Roberts from LJR Creative as part of his Amplify events, which provide the opportunity for local artists to shoot videos in music studios in the DC area. This video was filmed at Ivakota studio in DC and was shot in a single take with no post-production editing. Luke did a great job of working with us to capture the energy of the song while showcasing the change in vocalists on each verse before singing the choruses together.

Connect with The Flip Phones

Website / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / YouTube / Spotify

Video Voyager: Josiah Mann’s “Angel”

Ford Photographs – Nashville Architectural Photographer

Josiah Mann is the indie singer/songwriter who’s driven by passion and perfectionism. This is evident right off the bat in his debut single “Angel,” from his forthcoming debut album, Grace. He has an Ed Sheeran and John Mayer quality to his music with that sweet acoustic sound and smooth vocals. The song bursts with new-romance euphoria and the lyrics here poetically hopeful.

The video for “Angel” depicts the message of the song: a love story. He shares the story in the first minute and a half of the video of how he met his first girlfriend. The rest of the video goes on to show a young couple, a younger Josiah and his girlfriend, on a date and falling in love.

We got a chance to speak with Josiah about his video. Let’s dive in:

Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?

The music video is literally the actual story of the song. I wrote this song 15 years ago for my girlfriend after our first date. A couple weeks later I recorded the song and then gave it to her for Valentine’s day!

What was the inspiration behind this video?

We wanted to match the visuals to the lyrics of the song. It was important to me that we captured some of the lyrics like “then we watched the stars” by showing a couple watching the stars together outside.

What was the process of making this video?

We booked a great location in Nashville to film at this beautiful wedding venue / barn. We were thinking about having me play the younger version of myself, but a few days before the shoot we decided to hire actors instead. We found two great actors and working with them made the process even more fun. It was super cool and trippy to see this recreation of a real thing that happened in my life so long ago!

Connect with Josiah

Website / Instagram / Facebook / YouTube / TikTok / Spotify / Soundcloud

Video Voyager: Jane Jensen’s “Changeling”

An imagination captured by the glitz and camp of late 70’s variety show offerings (think Cher) and then consumed by rock and roll, poetry and electronic music, Jane Jensen’s mind and music tend to wander in many directions but her love for industrial music is the thread that weaves it all together.

She just released two new singles, “Changeling” and “Revolution Maker,” with her album Changeling. In tandem, she also released the music video for “Changeling.” The song is about inner transformation and rebirth with an industrial alt rock backdrop. Visually speaking, the video has a 90’s style and visualizes change with glitching.

We spoke to Jane Jensen about the “Changeling” video in this edition of Video Voyager:

Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?          

The narrative for the song “Changeling” is simple. It focuses on a personal journey that leads to transformation. It’s reflective of past trauma and future possibilities. It’s about transmuting pain into power and figuring out what lessons need to be learned to move on and effect needed change in life. I wrote and worked on this song a lot during the pandemic – lots of time to be reflective.

What was the inspiration behind this video?

The video has a deep seated 90’s vibe and it began as a complete coincidence. I partnered with video director Sean Sweetman and we rented a photo studio for a couple hours to shoot some cool visuals. Initially, we planned to feature a lot of martial arts but we had some glitches on shoot day and weren’t able to get those shots. The studio had a wall of televisions which immediately indicated the 90’s aesthetic and direction for the rest of the shoot and aftereffects. Although Sean did mention early on that he wanted neon crosses like Baz Lehrman’s Romeo and Juliet, which is a 90’s film, so I guess we were steeped in 90’s nostalgia from the start. Also, the chair as a major focal feature is reminiscent of my video from the 90s More Than I Can and my favorite detail is the ms dos font that runs throughout the video. When Craig Kafton and I were working on my first album Comic Book Whore he used a Compaq computer for programming and sequencing. That green flashing font was at the core of every track on that album.

What was the process of making this video?

Sean and I had a pre-production phone meeting. We decided to shoot me with my guitar and a mic stand, rather than the whole band. Sean wanted to incorporate his newly acquired neon lights as neon crosses, and he had lots of photographic ideas that he wanted to capture with that kind of lighting. I like to preplan everything, and Sean is very comfortable just showing up and shooting whatever is available. We did both. There is also planning that goes into clothing, hair and make-up. I discovered Ukrainian brand MDNT:45 and was happy to show my support by wearing some of their clothing in the video. The hair and make-up were very subtle by Alexandra Bayless, and we had one mind-blowing dancer Jahlani Luv. She was really wonderful, and we wished we had more time to shoot her.

After the shoot was complete, Sean started the editing process and presented a rough-cut followed by a few more finessed cuts until we got the one we both were happy with. Then I took the final cut to add some additional 90’s effects and the ms-dos font that is featured throughout the video. The best advice I can give to an artist who is producing their own music video would be not to do it under a strict time constraint. That kind of pressure can lead you to cut corners or not get a visual you are totally satisfied with, because you feel the pressure to stay with the timeline and keep moving forward, even if you are not happy – SO, give yourself plenty of time! And just as important, be satisfied with the quality of the visual. If you don’t love it, you won’t want to share it and if you are an indie artist, you are calling the shots so keep working on it until you love it – even if you have to push back release dates.

Watch here:

Connect with Jane Jensen:
Website / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / TikTok / YouTube / Spotify / Soundcloud