MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Daniel Ellsworth + The Great Lakes’ “Headfirst (It’s All Happening)”

Back at the end of April, we brought you a totally awesome mix tape by Daniel Ellsworth + The Great Lakes, coinciding with the release of their three-track Chapter Two EP. As we told you then, Chapter Two followed Chapter One (a three-song EP released January 19), and the two would eventually be compiled and expanded upon to result in the Nashville band’s third album. Well, folks, said LP—the dozen-track Fashion (Color Party)—now has an official release date: August 24. (You can pre-order the album at the band’s website.)

And we have even more good news for you today regarding Daniel Ellsworth + The Great Lakes: We’re premiering the video for Fashion standout “Headfirst (It’s All Happening).” Directed by bassist Marshall Skinner, the clip was inspired by a photo shoot​ he did​ recently at an old motorcycle repair shop. “I wanted the concept of the video to be about people who are exploring and discovering their true selves but doing it in an environment that is not very inspiring,” says Skinner. “In a lot of ways, the run-down warehouse represents a society in which we do not value the creative people we need. For a lot of people, being a young creative person can be a struggle, and a lot of times, we are on our own in the quest to create something meaningful. In my own experience, you have to fight through the times when life is not inspiring in order to do something creative or imaginative, and I wanted to convey that feeling through ​the video.​“​​

Ellsworth feels the same way, with the concept for “Headfirst (It’s All Happening)” also working on very personal and musical levels as well. “It feels like a metaphor of sorts for our band—an amalgamation of everything that represents Daniel Ellsworth + The Great Lakes,” he says. “We’ve been a proudly independent band since we started in 2010. No label means no budgets, though, and with no budget, sometimes you have to be your own music video directors. Marshall is a monstrously talented photographer and used his eye for photography to film this narrative that follows three different characters all striving to do something meaningful and creative—and progressively losing their minds in the process. It’s a sentiment we’re familiar with.”

As a song, “Headfirst (It’s All Happening)” is a bit of a rallying cry for Daniel Ellsworth + The Great Lakes, three guys who understand the struggles that go along with their life pursuit of making music not only for themselves but others as well. “This year has been a year of big change for the band, and ‘Headfirst (It’s All Happening)’ is a song literally about the experience of being in a band and going through some shit and questioning what you’re doing with your life,” says Ellsworth. “The self-doubt, the sleeping on strange floors, the relentless tour schedule, the no money, the unending work that goes along with being an indie band … The repeated ‘It’s all happening’ lines are simultaneously tongue-in-cheek and hopeful reminders to ourselves to keep going. Because the truth is that as soon as you get onstage and you see your music affect someone, even if it’s just one person, you forget about all the bad shit. You forget the self-doubt and the no money and, in that moment, remember why you started doing this in the first place: the music and the people. Those are the things that matter.”

We couldn’t agree more. It’s all happening, indeed, for Daniel Ellsworth + The Great Lakes. Sit back and see for yourself. Tour dates below.

Tour Dates
7/28 — Bethlehem, PA, Levitt Pavilion Summer Concert Series
8/2 — Chicago, F$#kapalooza At Tonic Room
8/3 and 8/4 — Appleton, WI, Mile Of Music Festival
8/24 — New York, Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 2)

Film At 11: Damien Jurado

You’ll feel like you’re watching an old-school variety show (albeit one that’s incredibly conspiratorial) when viewing Damien Jurado’s new video for “Percy Faith.” The song comes off his latest album, The Horizon Just Laughed (Secretly Canadian), and the clip was directed by Lance Alton Troxel (Foxygen, Richard Swift). The LP is out now and will be available for streaming via Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora on July 6. Watch the video for “Percy Faith” now, and ask yourself, “Who is The Watchman, really?”

Film At 11: Deer Tick

Deer Tick combines the beauty of dance and architecture in its new video for “Wants / Needs,” off Vol 2. (Partisan). According to drummer/singer (and songwriter) Dennis Ryan, the song is “about determining necessity in an age of modern convenience where the lines between wants and needs are a bit blurred.” Watch the clip now, and catch Rhode Island’s finest on tour most of the rest of this year.

Film At 11: E

Boston “supergroup” E—guitarists Thalia Zedek (Come, Live Skull) and Jason Sidney Sanford (Trunk Federation, Neptune) and drummer Gavin McCarthy (Karate)—just released sophomore album Negative Work (Thrill Jockey). The 10-track LP is full of angular, aggressive punk-inspired tracks including “Hole In Nature,” inspired by interdisciplinary Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti. The video for the song is completely in black and white, capturing the dark, thriller felt of the song. Check it out now.

Film At 11: The Magic Numbers

The Magic Numbers just released the video for their empowering “Ride Against The Wind.” The clip features a group of women breaking free from their traditional roles, accompanied by frontman Romeo Stodart’s relaxed-yet-carefree vocals. Outsiders, the London quartet’s first album in four years, is available now via Park The Van. Stodart and bandmates—bassist sister Michele and fellow siblings Angela (keyboards) and Sean (drums) Gannon—will be touring the East Coast in July. In the meantime, hop on and “Ride Against The Wind” right now.

Film At 11: The Nude Party

The Nude Party is getting ready to expose its self-titled debut album to the public on July 6 via New West. First single “Chevrolet Van” heralded the North Carolina six-piece (which contains a pair of brothers as well as a pair of step brothers) as one to watch, and follow-up “Records” only ups the au-naturel ante. As both song and video, “Records” has a vintage feel, the same of which could be said of the Nude Party in general. Check out the 6mm-film-shot “Records” now, and try to catch the band live this summer—clothing optional.

Film At 11: Wooden Shjips

Wooden Shjips just released their highly anticipated V (Thrill Jockey). The seven-track album features more of its trademark spacey, slow-jam goodness—full of some much-needed positive energy—which the band is showcasing on its current North American tour, with European dates set for September. The video for “Already Gone” delivers even more good vibrations, with the band enjoying the sun, the musical camaraderie and the hacky sack throughout the clip. Fear not, MAGNET readers: The members of Wooden Shjips come in peace.

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of A Flock Of Seagulls’ “Space Age Love Song” Video

1984 has already been quite a year. The Donald, now a father for the third time, has finally seen Trump Tower up, running and open for business, and he’s in the middle of rebuilding the skating rink in Central Park. The Soviet army is on alert after President Reagan joked that we’re gonna begin bombing them in five minutes. 46-year-old Jack Nicholson won his second Oscar, for Terms Of Endearment. Apple dramatically introduced the Macintosh computer to the world with an Orwellian commercial directed by Ridley Scott, hot off his success with Blade Runner. And British new-wave outfit A Flock Of Seagulls released The Story Of A Young Heart, which—following 22-year-old guitarist Paul Reynolds leaving the group after it hit record stores—has turned out to be the last LP by the band’s original lineup.

That is, until now. (OK, we’re back in 2018, McFly.)

With Ascension (out June 29), Reynolds, Score brothers Mike (vocals, keyboards) and Ali (drums) and bassist Frank Maudsley have gotten the original band back together—with a little help from the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The 12-track LP features A Flock Of Seagulls symphonically redoing all the hits—”I Ran (So Far Away),” “Space Age Love Song,” “Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You),” “Telecommunication,” “Nightmares,” “Transfer Affection”—plus other fan faves, primarily from 1982’s self-titled debut and the following year’s Listen.

Given that A Flock Of Seagulls had two members who were hairdressers with a taste for the theatrical (and, kids, this is the early ’80s we’re talking about), videos played a big part of the band’s success in the U.S. thanks to frequent airplay on MTV. So it’s not surprising that the quartet already has a new clip from the new album, for the new “Space Age Love Song,” a 1982 top-30 smash in the U.S. that’s still essential ear candy from the greed-is-good decade. And if you don’t believe us, just ask Mike Score: “I knew when I wrote ‘Space Age Love Song,’ it was perfect,” he says. “And it was far beyond what any other new-wave band could do.”

Unlike during the new-wave era, however, these days band members don’t have to all be in the same studio to make a record. Or, even, the same country. So shooting the video for “Space Age Love Song” also marked the true reunion for the foursome. “We made the record in separate studios around the world,” says Score. “So when we made the video, it was actually the first time we had been all together since 2004. It was a good feeling. That Seagull magic is still there.”

What isn’t still there, though, is that patented A Flock Of Seagulls hair—hair so groundbreaking and unforgettable that it’s been referenced by name in films like Pulp Fiction and The Wedding Singer. These days, instead of that physics-defying waterfall that resided on top of Score’s head, he’s now rockin’ the cue-ball look. But like they say: Hair today, gone tomorrow.

We’re proud to premiere the video for “Space Age Love Song” on magnetmagazine.com. Although it took a while, it will make you smile.