MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Soft Punch’s “My Head” Video

Of all the things that could’ve sabotaged the creative process for Soft Punch’s Rye Thomas, writer’s block wasn’t one of them. Words have always seemed to come fairly easily for Thomas, as both a journalist and a musician embedded in Washington, D.C’s DYI underground. Turns out Thomas had other major obstacles to contend with—namely a mysterious illness that knocked him on his ass with debilitating migraines for a good five years. During that time, picking up an instrument and turning on an amplifier were out of the question, and he spent years sequestered at home doing essentially nothing.

But Thomas did have songs—plenty of them. Whenever he could muster up the energy, he set to work on what would become Soft Punch’s Above Water, available September 15 on Bad Friend Records. When things were bad, he’d spend just a half hour at a time in his darkened bedroom with a keyboard and a cassette recorder. Things eventually got easier as his health took a positive turn, and Thomas became more determined to turn healing into art.

With boyfriend Brendan Polmer’s help, Thomas rigged his home studio with throwback recording gear to achieve the classic sound he was looking for. Friends pitched in with additional instrumentation. Songs that began as stripped-back pleas from a desperate, debilitated soul are now evocative, eclectic, fully fleshed-out indie-pop nuggets that call to mind everyone from the Beatles to Elliott Smith to Frank Ocean. Thomas had this to say about Above Water’s first single, “My Head,” and its video, which was directed by Jonathan Howard:

“Whether it’s migraines or my own thoughts, my head can be a brutal and unpredictable place. Just trying to get through the day during an awful headache or a bout of anxiety can be an absurd challenge. I leaned into that absurdity with the music video. Strange geometric figures and flaming tape machines crowd my living situation, while I attempt to get up, brush my teeth, start my day and tend to my studio. Like any good rock ’n’ roll music video, it’s ridiculous. The visual antics escalate along with the music for a noisy-yet-satisfying conclusion.”

We’re proud to premiere the video for “My Head.”

—Hobart Rowland