Brenda Xu defines modern grassroots artistry. Jettisoning off of a successful Kickstarter campaign for her latest album, Overflow, the cinematic dream-folk artist has begun gathering attention to her gorgeously serene, multi-layered, and contemplative arrangements.
“Flying” is one such song. Its accompanying music video, produced by Coward Films, follows the story of a dreamer who wants to lift his boat from the earth and sail the skies. With performances from actors Steven R. Johnson, Aeden, and Holden Boyles, we see the steps in his life that were taken to get him to the point he’s at today as an elderly man, still intent on embracing hope and persistence. Without giving away any spoilers, the music video certainly maintains an inspiring and hopeful outlook throughout.
Of course, it wouldn’t have the same impact had it not been for
Xu’s music. “Flying” is as ebullient as its name might suggest, but with all of the reserved sincerity that Xu’s songwriting possesses. The song is carried by her warm, inviting vocals pairing with relaxed, yet driving instrumental paces forward. It evolves in its last couple of minutes from a delicate performance to trombone, drums, and all manner of string instruments in a collective, buoyant ensemble that persists until its last moments.
Ultimately, like with the subject featured in her music video, “Flying” is an indication that the only direction for this artist is up.