We already think that Jordan Lehning can do no wrong, given his quite brilliant At Home Session he did for us a while back (have a peek, here). Ahead of the release of his lates album Three Colored Walls, out on August 6th, he’s released a new track ‘ Drunk Dreaming’ with accompanying video directed by The Duensing brothers (Josh and Andy), and we’re delighted to be able to premiere it right here on Backseat Mafia today.
Of the track, Jordan told us, “‘Drunk Dreaming’ is a cautionary fairytale that warns us against dwelling too long on things no longer attainable. I pitched a loose video concept to my lifelong friends and collaborators The Duensing’s who responded with their version of the idea and quickly and skillfully they shaped it into reality. It stars Sari Hoke, who worked out the choreography with The Duensing’s on the spot. They beautifully matched the kineticism of the music and made something I’m very proud of”.
As is the case with all of Lehning’s songs, its beautifully crafted, with fruits picked sparingly from Americana, Synthpop and indie folk trees, but brought together with lovely melodies and hooks (if this one doesn’t have you whistling along, there’s something wrong in your life), and charming arrangements.
Of the video, Josh and Andy Duensing gave us a detailed insight, saying, “We grew up with Jordan here in Nashville and have collaborated in one form or another for the past 30 years. We’ve always been drawn to the way different mediums enhance one another so our tendency towards the visual arts and Jordan’s propensity towards music found the perfect union in film. Whether it was weird art videos, overreaching sci-fi shorts or independent features Jordan has been the go to composer for our work. So, when the opportunity arose to work on this music video and subjugate the images to the songs for once, we jumped at the chance. Jordan always brings a lot of ideas to the table and so it began this great back and forth as we worked through the concept.
The song Drunk Dreaming has this driving upbeat cheerful tone, but we were drawn to the dark undercurrents that seem to rest just below the surface. We wanted to create a rich colorful dreamlike environment that mirrored the tone of the song, but explore the consequences suggested in its subtext. The idea of waking up in a strange house after what was probably a stranger party started to take shape. We conceived of it as kind of an eternal party house that you couldn’t escape from… a house that fed on the mistakes of youth. So it started to become a story about escaping regret. Narrative film has an outsized influence on our music video work and we always set forth to create a world apart. We were referencing everything from contemporary dance icons like Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham to the 2018 version of Suspiria as well as Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time and TheWolf of Wall Street sequence where Leonardo Decaprio is so messed up on expired barbiturates he has to crawl to his ferrari or whatever it is and opens the door with his foot. Fantasy. Debauchery. Excess. Dance.
These absurd ideas then crashed headlong into reality. We were on a tight schedule and an even tighter budget but thankfully the stars aligned and the concept took shape quite organically. Jordan put us in touch with our lead actress, Sari Hoke, an improvisational dancer he had worked with in the past. Sari’s improvisational dance aligned perfectly with the concept of escaping this eternal party. Her performance through the house would have the grace, physical energy and charisma needed to escape the morose foreboding of waking up in an unfamiliar space after a night of presumed debauchery. Sari was amazing to work with and her performance drives most of the action in the house. We scoured locations until we found the House of Adora, which is extremely rich and dream-like and so full of stuff that all we would need to do was remove items and furniture to achieve our desired production design.
The costumes and characters were created in collaboration with our other brother Zach Duensing who of course we’ve been working with for years. He brought a bizarre lo-fi hipsters-getting-it-wrong quality that was perfect. Jordan, who is always hesitant to appear in videos, had to be convinced, but when we referenced future Biff from Back to the Future II and secured a 1998 Red Trans Am… his tune changed.
Creating the video was an experience that took us all back to the days before budgets and deadlines of running around our parents house with a video camera making crazy shit no one would ever see. It was just nice to leverage all the years in between to create something we’re all very excited to share.”
Check it out, here