Premiere: J.W. Schuller's Signature Humor Is Apparent In New Music Video For "No mud in Joyville"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

BolderBeat first caught up with Boulder transplant and singer/songwriter J.W. Schuller about a year ago when he released his tongue-in-cheek video for “When I’m President.” Schuller is well-known for injecting his sense of humor into his work, and his recent release for his single “No mud in Joyville” is no different.

“No mud in Joyville” is the title track from Schuller’s newest record, which dropped this past January. The song’s somewhat nonsensical verses and catchy chorus are of Schuller’s signature style, one which keeps the listener wondering what he’ll say next and simultaneously has them singing along after a minute or two. In the song, Schuller imagines a place where there won’t be hate, deer ticks, and of course, mud among other things.

J.W. Schuller.

J.W. Schuller.

The video for “No mud in Joyville,” which we’re premiering here today, brings Schuller’s goofy sensibilities to light. The video features scenes of Schuller and his bearded nephew Jens Larson playing in front of an old stove in a living room of sorts, interspersed with abstract skeleton art sequences, and at one point a scene where they launch skittles from a drum in Larson’s mouth.

Said Jeff about the video, “I conceived and directed the video and it was shot on an iPhone 6 by the abstract artist Jaci Lee Reno, who I'm also lucky to call my wife. The flower and skeleton imagery in the video is an offshoot of my idea for the album cover. I've always been struck by Mexican Day of the Dead folk art and the juxtaposition of skeleton figures and flowers have been a recurring theme in videos and gig posters for me. It’s kind of an off-puttingly cute way to reflect on our mortality, I guess."

Schuller and Larson.

Schuller and Larson.

No mud in Joyville is the second release from Schuller as a solo artist, and is a follow-up to his 2013 release All Important Artists. His latest was recorded and mixed at Underwood Studios in Minneapolis by Mark Stockert, which are Schuller’s old stomping grounds.

J.W. Schuller’s album release show is slated for Saturday, March 10th at The Walnut Room in Denver with Red Petals and Kait Berreckman. Snag tickets here and make sure to keep up with Schuller on Facebook.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Premiere: Spiral Cell Releases Eerie Music Video For "Prologue"

By: Norman Hittle

Near the end of 2016, Scott Uhl, the man behind Spiral Cell, brought us his first full release with The Maze in the Tree Rings, a highly conceptual album blending the lines of progressive rock with contemporary video game soundtracks that had us questioning artificial intelligence versus reality. Now at the crest of 2018, he’s released the premiere video for the first song of from that record, aptly known as “Prologue.”

I won’t go into too much detail, but my first impressions of the video were that it was either: A) a post apocalyptic world with someone visiting from another planet perhaps to gain knowledge of Earth's demise, or B) someone surfacing from a sci-fi bunker after some cataclysmic world event. Either way, it’s mysterious, thrilling, and seems to fit well with the actual music.

I got a moment to catch up with Scott via a phone interview, and though he admits the video fits nicely into his conceptual creation for The Maze in the Tree Rings, he also wasn’t about to spoil my own interpretations of his music and the video. Spiral Cell is highly conceptual through and through, and though Scott admits he has a vision for what the story of the video is, he stands true on the ideal that “art is in the eye of the beholder,” which means he wants us to have the freedom to take from what he creates instead of telling us what Spiral Cell is fully about.

What Scott was willing to tell us about Spiral Cell and the video for “Prologue” without spoiling any surprises were some behind-the-scenes details:

First and foremost, the same people involved in the recording of the music are featured in the video. Scott’s wife Danielle, who is featured singing on some tracks of his last record, was the makeup designer and a body double; the “woman” creature is Mackenzie Beyer, who was the voice of “the guide” on several tracks;  and of course, Scott himself is the hazmat suit-wearing, flashlight-wielding explorer.

Scott also shared that though the video was filmed on three different locations on three different nights, each night of filming, observers called the police to the film scene due to the creepy nature of him walking around with a flashlight and hazmat suit and because the fog machines used were mistaken for fires. Yet, he said in each situation the police allowed them to continue their production and wished him well in its completion.

Scott Uhl. Photo Credit: Underexposed.

Scott Uhl. Photo Credit: Underexposed.

One of my favorite behind-the-scene hints came up when I asked Scott about how he was structuring “Prologue” into the storyline of the The Maze in the Tree Rings concept. The end of the video seems open-ended, as if it could be a finality or just the beginning, and “Prologue” in name and as the first song on the album begs the question: Is it the actual beginning, or is he telling a story in reverse Tarantino-fashion? Scott of course was enigmatic about all of it, but informed me that “Prologue” is not necessarily the beginning nor end of the story. “There are some subtle hints in the actual song that allude to where in the story ‘Prologue’ actually falls,” Scott told me, but he wants to leave it up to the listener to decide. Challenge accepted!

If you have yet to check out The Maze in the Tree Rings, I would liken it to a solid union between The Dear Hunter and Stephen Wilson. Take a listen below:

Spiral Cell may also have more for us on the horizon. “Though I wish I could make a video for every song, that’s not likely within my budget, but there will be more,” Scott said. He’s already planning a live performance video for one of the songs, but does not have a date set for its release.

Keep up with Scott and Spiral Cell on Facebook.

-Norman

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Premiere: Wolf van Elfmand's New Animated Music Video for "The New Folk"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s Wolf van Elfmand is best known locally for his folk, country, and blues tunes. But his origins in music date back to 2009, when he collaborated with producer Cedar Apffel to release his debut self-titled EP. Since then, Elfmand has released three full length records: Magic to the Lonely, Wolf Sings, and The Death of. His next EP, Real Wolf, drops this summer on June 10th with a release party at Fort Greene Bar. Dango Rose of Elephant Revival co-produced the upcoming EP with Elfmand, and today is the premiere of the new music video for his single “The New Folk.”

The video for “The New Folk” features country and city animations courtesy of Boulder animator and artist Joseph Tonelli. The track features Dango Rose on bass, Enion Pelta-Tiller (Taarka) on fiddle, and backup vocals by Megan Rice. 

Said Wolf about the video, “‘The New Folk’ is a song for the generational shifts that are continuously unfolding. It’s a story of equality that blurs the line between humor and reality, as well as traditional melodies with contemporary form.”

Wolf.

Wolf.

Wolf’s classic format of weaving humor with cynicism in his songwriting is also evident in “The New Folk.” So give it a view and make sure to stay tuned for more music from Wolf on his website. Get details on his release party for Real Wolf here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Bo DePeña Drops New Country Tune "The Weed and the Wine"

By: Allan Tellis

Hailing from Laredo, TX, singer/songwriter Bo DePeña recently relocated to Denver, CO, though this is a musician who has arguably lived in many a music city. After having spent time in Austin, NYC, and San Antonio, the mountains called and DePeña found himself in Colorado. After the release of his record There’s No Way Out of Here last November, DePeña has been gigging hard throughout the region to showcase his Americana and folk country sounds. Most recently, he released his single and music video for his track “The Weed and The Wine.”

Watch DePeña’s music video for “The Weed and The Wine”:

With a very classic country twang, Bo DePeña describes an all too familiar feeling of love and intoxication in this tune. “The Weed and the Wine” is a laid back soundtrack for anyone who may have experienced strong emotions for a potential partner, but can’t quite make out the cause after a night out. The song describes that feeling of every moment and touch seeming perfect, though it may just be those Mile High vices blurring the lines between love and reality.

Bo DePeña.

Bo DePeña.

The song itself is warm and hazy, and conjures up tones of affection and confusion, which fit the lyrical content spectacularly. The video is equally charming, simple, and familiar, with Bo and a lady friend imbibing in a living room interspersed with shots of DePeña singing. This song is definitely worth checking out, and might hit even more of a sweet spot if you indulge in such “grown up” activities.

Make sure to give this playful tune a listen and keep up with Bo and his massive tour schedule here.

-Allan

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Music Video Release: Whiskey Autumn "My Dear Miss Claire"

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Boulder's Whiskey Autumn have dropped their first official music video.

A scene from Whiskey Autumn's music video "My Dear Miss Claire".

A scene from Whiskey Autumn's music video "My Dear Miss Claire".

Local band Whiskey Autumn has just released their new video for “My Dear Miss Claire”, a highlight from the band’s latest EP, Call You Mine. The video follows a young couple around Boulder, with familiar scenes shot on the Pearl St. Mall and the Boulder County Farmer’s Market. The video pans between the couple in color, and the doo-wop rock trio performing on a farm in black and white. We sat down with Whiskey Autumn frontman Greg Laut to learn more about the video, the process of filming, and what he enjoyed most about the entire experience.

1. We really enjoyed the CD release show for your EP Call You Mine. How did you decide which song from the EP to film a video for?

After we decided to work with directors Grant Speich and Waeli Wang on the video, I asked them listen to Call You Mine and pick a song. I’ve found from experience that we are too close to the music to determine which track people will gravitate toward. Grant and Waeli both liked the dancey hip-hop beat of "My Dear Miss Claire"  and had a solid pitch for the video so we followed their instinct.

2. We dig the contrast between Whiskey Autumn performing in the country in black and white and the couple exploring the city in color. Was there any deeper meaning behind this visually creative choice?

The intention was to make the scenes of the couple exploring the city in the color of springtime seem like memories of a past relationship and the wintry black and white band scenes to be reminiscing on those [past] times. The color shots were completed using old film, which provided this dreamy, surreal look indicative of intimate memories. The digitally shot band scenes represent the clear-eyed present, where thinking back on old times makes you realize the seemingly small moments you shared with another person are actually quite powerful and should be cherished.

3. The song sounds as if it’s written for a couple who is breaking up. What’s the story behind the couple in the video? Are they actors or are they together in real life?

James and Carrie are a real-life couple! We wanted the couple scenes in the video to capture a true sense of intimacy and thought that using actors may come across as insincere. When it came time for casting, James and Carrie seemed like the perfect choice as they are both ridiculously good-looking and all around lovely people.

4. As the writer of the song, what was your favorite part about filming the video?

I really enjoyed the process of working with Grant and Waeli on the initial storyboards and seeing that come to life. It was important to the band to create a video that was more than us fake playing our instruments along to the recorded track from the EP. We wanted it to have a bit more depth, and in the end I think we accomplished that.

Watch Whiskey Autumn's video for "My Dear Miss Claire" here:

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.