by Lauren Donnelly
VANCOUVER – It’s hip, it’s laid-back, it’s so aesthetically pleasing it feels like something Wes Anderson could get behind. Self-described crewneck enthusiasts Winona Forever are dropping their new single “Heads or Tails” and premiering its video at the same time. BeatRoute talked tunes and tape with bandmates Rowan Webster-Shaw, Ben Robertson, Alexander Bingham and Isaiah Dobbs in an exclusive first look.
Maestro director Lester Lyons-Hookham brings his signature polish to the project. Working with the director — his previous work includes videos for Peach Pit and the Jins — left Winona Forever feeling starry-eyed. “Lester took such a thorough approach to the visual execution which was really nice,” says the band. “When we got to all hang out in our basement and capture that energy of us playing it together it felt really rewarding.”
The process wasn’t all roses though, “The hardest shot to get was the spinning band overhead shot in our basement,” the band confesses. “While it looks pretty in the video, we had to rush to set up and tear down that room because our basement had started flooding that week.”
You’d never know it. The song oozes reverie with lyrics “is this for real? No heads or tails? I’m head over heels.” Its dizzying love lorn perspective is captured with fluid takes and snapshots of west coast hipster life. A recurring theme of being left spinning is communicated through circular imagery. So the overhead shot circling the band mimics the vinyl in the corner, which mirrors the architecture, which reappears in the measuring tape and…well, see how many more circles you spot.
Lyons-Hookham’s cinematography is on point with rhythmic cuts that punch up the dreamy vocals. Vocalist Ben Robertson conjures up early Ben Folds Five tone at moments. The jazz-loungey melody is underscored with bright horns and cheeky guitar chord bends.
Want more “Buddy Holly” geek-chic from Winona Forever? “We have a handful of songs next in line to be finished after ‘Heads or Tails,’” says the band. “There should be new material by summer!”
In the meantime, check out the music video release party tonight at Club Sofa. The band promises “Dancing! Hydration! Merch! Visuals!” and a guest set by local wunderkinds, Schwey.
Be there or be square — it’s Winona Forever’s music video release party TONIGHT at 8 p.m. with special guests Schwey at 333 Clark Drive.Winona Forever