Aerial East’s explanation of her name is characteristic of her music: pure, vulnerable, and honest. She says, “Aerial East isn’t a stagename. My Mom wanted to name me Ariel but didn’t know how to spell it. So she looked it up in the dictionary.”
The NY-based, small-town Texas-raised singer-songwriter is, ironically, a breath of fresh air. In the midst of a trend toward heavily produced sounds laying fragile, airy vocals over harder, low-end heavy beats, East hearkens back to Etta James. Her wispy vocal flourishes have an incongruous potency through her candid, emotive lyrics which are lifted by lush orchestral arrangements reminiscent of ’60s pop. Her upcoming album, Rooms, sounds as if recorded with an orchestra and money-is-no-object mentality. The first foray into that album is “Crazy Now” and she’s presenting it with a matching set of visuals.
The song is a rich, quintessential throwback, East giving in to being lost in love and the insane things it makes her do. The video, directed by Joel Barhamand, embodies the spirit of the album as well. Grand shots of East against white and black backgrounds seductively wrapped in sheets give the convincing illusion of a huge production. And the slow-motion retro shots over the luscious harp, horns, and bass will instantly transport you back to the ’60s. Watch.
Rooms is out 5/10.