Brenda Xu Goes "Flying" in New Dream Folk Video (premiere)

Photo courtesy of artist

The folk artist's "Flying" is a gorgeously serene, impressively multi-layered, inspiring performance in which one remembers never to give up hope.

Seattle singer-songwriter 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.





Political Cartoonist Art Young Was an Aficionado of all Things Infernal

Fantagraphics' new edition of Inferno takes Art Young's original Depression-era critique to the Trump Whitehouse -- and then drags it all to Hell.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

OK Go's Emotional New Ballad, "All Together Now", Inspired by Singer's Bout with COVID-19

Damian Kulash, lead singer for OK Go discusses his recent bout with COVID-19, how it impacted his family, and the band's latest pop delight, "All Together Now", as part of our Love in the Time of Coronavirus series.


The Rules Don't Apply to These Nonconformist Novelists

Ian Haydn Smith's succinct biographies in Cult Writers: 50 Nonconformist Novelists You Need to Know entice even seasoned bibliophiles.


Siren Songs' Merideth Kaye Clark and Jenn Grinels Debut As a Folk Duo (album stream + interview)

Best friends and longtime musical collaborators Merideth Kaye Clark and Jenn Grinels team up as Siren Songs for the uplifting folk of their eponymous LP.


Buzzcocks' 1993 Comeback 'Trade Test Transmissions' Showed Punk's Great Survivors' Consistency

PopMatters' appraisal of Buzzcocks continues with the band's proper comeback LP, Trade Test Transmissions, now reissued on Cherry Red Records' new box-set, Sell You Everything.


Archie Shepp, Raw Poetic, and Damu the Fudgemunk Enlighten and Enliven with 'Ocean Bridges'

Ocean Bridges is proof that genre crossovers can sound organic, and that the term "crossover" doesn't have to come loaded with gimmicky connotations. Maybe we're headed for a world in which genres are so fluid that the term is dropped altogether from the cultural lexicon.


Claude McKay's 'Romance in Marseille' Is Ahead of Its Time

Claude McKay's Romance in Marseille -- only recently published -- pushes boundaries on sexuality, disability, identity -- all in gorgeous poetic prose.


Christine Ott Brings the Ondes Martenot to New Heights with the Mesmerizing 'Chimères'

France's Christine Ott, known for her work as an orchestral musician and film composer, has created a unique new solo album, Chimères, that spotlights an obscure instrument.


Man Alive! Is a Continued Display of the Grimy-Yet-Refined Magnetism of King Krule

Following The OOZ and its accolades, King Krule crafts a similarly hazy gem with Man Alive! that digs into his distinct aesthetic rather than forges new ground.


The Kinks and Their Bad-Mannered English Decency

Mark Doyles biography of the Kinks might complement a seminar in British culture. Its tone and research prove its intent to articulate social critique through music for the masses.


ONO Confronts American Racial Oppression with the Incendiary 'Red Summer'

Decades after their initial formation, legendary experimentalists ONO have made an album that's topical, vital, uncomfortable, and cathartic. Red Summer is an essential documentation of the ugliness and oppression of the United States.


Silent Women Filmmakers No Longer So Silent: Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers

The works of silent filmmakers Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers were at risk of being forever lost. Kino Lorber offers their works on Blu-Ray. Three cheers for film historians and film restoration.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.