Look, I’ll be honest here, it took me a couple listens to understand exactly what was going on in this video “Dust in the Circuits” from Los Angeles’ Bart Davenport. There’s an undeniable tunefulness to the song, but it seemed almost woefully out of time, and that guitar riff was a nagging echo of something in my mind. That’s, of course, precisely the point; the song isn’t just not of this time, it’s of multiple different times rolled together in one. It’s got the lounge vibe that you’d hear in a golden era Michael Cain romance, the Burt Bacharach-style pop ear, that guitar riff is 100% pure, uncut Johnny Marr, and it’s all tied together with a 2010s chill-pop jangle and retro mod aesthetic. The video, starring another LA musician, Nedelle Torrisi, has the slightly off-kilter temporal displacement effect that parties in the hills often engender.
“What I loved about Bart’s song was that it had this beautiful melancholy pop sound, so when he asked me to do a video I wanted to emulate that feeling, that nostalgia for things that never were, that loneliness you feel in a crowded room, that moment right before you ask a girl out,” the video’s director Cassandra Lee Hamilton told us.
“It’s a song about modern dating,” Davenport explained. “Many of us, especially in Los Angeles, get so caught up in our own individual ambitions. Then, someone comes along who seems like the genuine article, the woman or man ‘of our dreams’ and we’re caught off guard, unprepared. We’re forgetting how to fall in love, at least the kind of ‘in love’ Wilson Pickett sang of.”
The song, he explained, was inspired by Bacharach, Stevie Wonder, The Action, and The Cure. ” I love when chords flow along, then stray into uncharted waters and then gracefully find their way home. Musically, I’m implying a sense of optimism that can’t be found in the lyrics. I’ve always been drawn to songs or movies with this sort of ‘trouble in paradise’ feel. Cassie’s video really nails it. When Cassie came up with this story of a boy and girl at a party, I immediately thought of Nedelle Torrisi to be the girl. I’m a huge fan of her own music and videos.”
Davenport’s Physical World is out now on Lovemonk/Burger Records.
Photo by Mareesa Stertz