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

Video Voyager: AP Tobler’s “Claustrophobia”

AP Tobler has released their new single “Claustrophobia” and it’s accompanying video, an alt rock grunge song reminiscent of Green Day meets Weezer.

The song is about how uncomfortable they are in their own skin and is translated into their video. The whole thing is quick frames of a variety of different shots, consisting of AP in several different positions and outfits, the empty coach, and the empty coach with just their guitar. The many different ways they orient themselves is a perfect representation of trying to find comfort with yourself.

We spoke with AP about their video. Check out what they had to share about the “Claustrophobia” music video:

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

Claustrophobia is about feeling trapped and uncomfortable in your body. I wrote this song at a point of severe discomfort with myself. I was also just getting out of a spell of writer’s block and it took me quite a while to bring the song to completion. In the video, I wear all sorts of different clothes. The line, “You can’t become a new person every day,” inspired these outfit changes that show my futile attempts to renew myself.

What was the inspiration behind this video?

The video features myself singing the song while sitting on a desolate sofa. My outfit and position changes often in the video. These outfit changes represent that no matter what external things I change, I am still the same at the core, even if I don’t want to be.

What was the process of making this video?

The process of making the video was super easy and quick. The shoot consisted of myself singing along to the track in varying outfits and positions. The video was different from my others as we used a single camera angle for all the shots. We shot in my house which helped us prepare test shots and make sure we would get what we wanted. I did multiple sing throughs in each outfit and my dad did the editing. The tv frame and glitches represent changing the channel on an old television. While the concept is simple it is one of my favorites.

Watch here:

Connect with AP Tobler via:
Website / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / TikTok / YouTube / Spotify / Soundcloud

Video Voyager: Yutao’s Lofi Single “Sensation”

Yutao is the indie bedroom pop artist based in Los Angeles. His songs are emotive but elusive, with lyrics that explore frustration, lost love, identity, wanting to belong, and music that is delicately dense with lush ambience and airy melodies. His aesthetic evokes alternative electro-pop artist keishi, and the vibrant scene of young Asian musicians around the 88rising record label. 

His video for his latest single “Sensation,” is a hypnotic counterpart to the song. It’s somehow both still and ever-moving. He captures a sense of passion and whirling emotions, the sensations of a new relationship, but also shares the fast-paced nature of it. The camera never stops moving, almost like a visual time limit. Nothing lasts forever.

We spoke with Yutao about the music video for “Sensation”:

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

The story of this song is about capturing the sensation of those “fireworks” like emotion & relationship. As if two people know nothing will last, the moment is too beautiful to pass. 

What was the inspiration behind this video? 

The inspiration summarizes my past relationship experience; just when you were still in the moment of the “firework,” the show ended without you even realizing it. 

What was the process of making this video?

We found a location in LA where the owner renovated the whole house into a trippy greenhouse. After discussing the direction, we decided to take the approach to a more dreamy and psychedelic type of experience to recreate the short-lasting sensation.

Watch here:

Connect with Yutao via:

Website / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / TikTok / YouTube / Spotify

Video Voyager: The Speaker Wars “It Ain’t Easy”

Hall of Fame drummer Stan Lynch and singer-songwriter Jon Christopher Davis have come together to create the music they want on their own terms; they are The Speaker Wars. Their music has a vintage classic rock vibe with a contemporary spin. Their video for their latest single “It Ain’t Easy” is simple yet effective. It’s all in black and white and depicts the band playing in the studio. The song itself if about aging in any industry, but specifically the music industry for Stan and Jon. Getting older doesn’t have to be a negative thing and this video shows their grace and acceptance of it. Just them playing music is all they need to share this message.

We spoke with Jon Christopher Davis about the video. Let’s dive in:

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

“It Ain’t Easy”‘ is about finding a renewed sense of purpose while learning how to age gracefully. I think it speaks to the confrontation of aging in any industry.

What was the inspiration behind this video?

To simply show that mojo doesn’t have an expiration date unless you let it. Getting older and wiser is cool. It’s a privilege and it’s liberating. Life gets mighty precious when there’s less of it to waste.

What was the process of making this video?

We shot our scenes separately during the middle of the pandemic. Stan was in Florida, and I was in Texas. It’s always a challenge whenever you can’t be in the same room, but it turned out great thanks to our director, Brad Osborne. It’s simple and soulful, and that’s what The Speaker Wars are all about.

Watch here:

Connect with The Speaker Wars via:
Website // Instagram // Facebook // YouTube // Spotify // Soundcloud

Video Voyager: Siren’s “High Wire”

Siren is the progressive fusion band of rock, metal, blues, and jazz, who are making strides with their latest release, the classic rock “High Wire.” The music video already has over 150K views on YouTube. The song is a metaphor for the music industry and the music labels that run it. Visually, the video depicts a clown (the musician) trying to catch the attention of the high wire girl (labels) by any means necessary. He does everything he can think of, like riding a unicycle and playing with fire. It isn’t until he leaves the confines of the circus tent (music industry at large) that he is finally able to get the girl.

We spoke with Siren about their video, so let’s see what they had to share:

Tell us the story of “High Wire”, and why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?   

“High Wire” is a metaphor for the music industry. The music industry is like a circus. The clown is the artist and the High Wire girl is the music industry. I think all Clowns would prefer to be the main attraction like a circus performer instead of a side show act. There is  a pecking order even in the circus world just like the music industry. Even Clowns can dream of greatness and sometimes as in this song come out on top.

What was the inspiration behind the video?

We envisioned taking the viewer into another world that exists within the circus tent. The relentless struggle and uphill battle the clown faces everyday to achieve his most fond desire of the High Wire girls love regardless of the cost. Our clown character was broken and burned but he never lost sight of his desires. He eventually triumphs in the end winning the heart/love of the High Wire girl. Rarely does the clown get the girl and in our story he does.

What was the process of making this video?

The video storyboard took a couple months to be completed. Mike and I had discussed a Black and White concept with only red standing out. The script for the story was basically the lyrics for the song. I had the idea for the old silent film intro at the beginning which worked out very well. Nathan, our video producer found the intro sound track that fit perfectly. This was the second time we had worked with Nathan’s company Kind Punk. He not only directed this video but was the main character the Clown. The High Wire artist was a joy to work with and she is not only beautiful but, She is also a very good actress. The video filming was somewhat difficult as the temperatures that day were in the 90’s and we were not getting a lot of air inside the circus tent. In the end it was worth it all. The video is like a mini movie that ties in with the song and lyrics. A great job by everyone involved!

Watch here:

Connect with Siren via:
Website I Instagram I Facebook I Twitter I YouTube I Spotify I Soundcloud

Comedian Jeff Hilliard Releases His New Satirical Single and Video

If you haven’t heard of Jeff Hilliard, you may be missing out on a unique talent. This professional comedian, who trained under the folks at Second City in Chicago, has always been interested in being an entertainer and knew from an early age that this was his calling. He’s been in a few indie films, including Paul Schrader’s Dog Eat Dog film starring Nicolas Cage and Willem Defoe, Officer Banks, in Bernard Rose’s award winning film Frankenstein starring Danny Huston, Carrie-Anne Moss, Xavier Samuel, and Tony Todd, and recently starred in Traveling Light along with Stephen Dorff, Tony Todd, and Danny Huston.

His provocative point of view on the dark, twisted reality of modern-day society proves his creativity knows no bounds. His controversial music videos have garnered millions of views and have won numerous awards at many film festivals. His new video and single, “Abandon,” showcases his multi-genre musical ability and genius songwriting.

“Abandon” takes gender norms and flips it on its head. The video depicts a sad and lonely guy stuck in the past, still living with his mom, who’s obsessively calling a woman he hooked up with, Vivian. It immediately points out what society deems as normal, typically a man initiates a one night hook up and he’s generally married while the woman is calling him. He’s also making fun of the toxic masculinity often seen in the 80’s metal culture. He’s looking for love and actually singing about his vulnerability rather than trying to be a “man” like the metal ballads of that time.

Lyrically speaking, the lyrics are funny and made for a visual medium. They easily get stuck in your head as you find yourself singing the chorus doing mundane things. He sings “I ain’t no pump and dump/ I believe in the power of love/ one night is not enough/ how could you abandon our love,” as he’s dressed in outlandish outfits reminiscent of what metal bands would wear. This sad character really thought that he found love. While he’s creepy and not someone you want to hang out with, you do feel a little sorry for him too.

Watch here:

Follow Jeff Hilliard via:
Website // Instagram // Twitter // Facebook // TikTok // YouTube // Spotify