Snowden – “The Beat Comes” Video (Stereogum Premiere)

Georgia-born Jordan Jeffares slipped out an EP two years ago, but that stopgap aside, his project Snowden has been in a gestational phase since its 2006 debut LP Anti-Anti. They are finally back, with a new record No One In Control, due this fall on Kings Of Leon’s label Serpents & Snakes. It’s an interesting choice for Snowden on aesthetic grounds, and a good one if they’re yearning for the Big Time. Between Kings Of Leon’s connects, and Snowden’s emotional and rousing dance-rock, it could work out well for everyone. Lead single The Beat Comes” presents Snowden as a band with a strong sense of what it does well, all muted yearning and rousing choruses and a locomotive pulse, with richly textured production. Video director John Merizalde honed in on the song’s cinematic aspects with a beautiful mini film focusing on a boxer with an unexpected predilection for cosmetics. He and Snowden connected through a call the band put out on Facebook; that one definitely worked out for everyone. They used a RED camera for some of these scenes, and it shows.

No One In Control is out this fall on Serpents & Snakes. They’re going on tour:

07/24 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
07/25 – Washington, DC @ DC 9
07/26 – -Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
07/28 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
07/29 – Nashville, TN @ The High Watt
07/31 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
08/01 – Detroit, MI @ Garden Bowl
08/02 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison

Here’s video director John Merizalde with words on the piece:

I’ve been a fan Snowden for several years, and when I saw that Jordan put a call out looking for video concepts for his new album, I jumped at the opportunity. This is the first music video I’ve ever directed.

After listening to the single, The Beat Comes, I drafted some ideas. The song has an invigorating energy and vibe to it, and boxing just felt like a natural fit. Underneath that though, there is a darker subtext, and working together with Jordan we put a spin on the classic boxing training montage.

Like the song, there is a multi-layered meaning to the video that can’t be concisely distilled. The images are very deliberate.

The video was shot in two days, at the Decatur Boxing Club and then in various locations around East Atlanta. We shot with the RED Epic for most of it and some segments with the Sony FS700.

And Jordan:

John is a fan of the band and he saw a call I put out on Facebook. He’s young but his reel is fantastic and he came back with a treatment with boxing. I asked him to go for a very cinematic approach and to throw the makeup shots in there as a wrench, something to make it a little more than a boxer training and getting his ass kicked. It’s a little dark, a little surprising. I love it.