Drawing from an abundance of diverse influences — including the Decemberists, Chvrches, Death Cab for Cutie, Saves the Day, Nirvana, Eisley, and Deftones — experimental indie rock trio Sonnder (vocalist Ryan Wiedman, keyboardist Kat Stein, and drummer Mike Liszka) is easily one of the most popular and idiosyncratic bands in Philadelphia. It’s not difficult to hear why, either, as their blend of dreamy instrumentation, honest lyricism, and pleasant vocals yield a sound comparable another local darling, Circa Survive (albeit with less punk frenzy and more 1960s pop lavishness). Their newest video, “Along the Way (I’ve Been Alive)”, captures that vibe perfectly, offering a sweetly humble visual to complement its titular sentiment.
Filmed in New Hope, Pennsylvania, the video finds Weidman evoking 1990s alternative rock singer/songwriters as he sings to the camera while walking around the culturally rich and picturesque area. Director Dan Levitt notes that because he grew up in Hunterdon County, he spent a lot of time in there, “so it was pretty cool to be able to put a town where [he] ha[s] so many memories into the video”.
As for the track itself (taken from last year’s debut LP, Entanglement), Weidman is characteristically open in discussing its meaning: “[It’s] all about embracing the good and bad of life and using it all for something positive. It’s like, you’ve felt it all, and you chose to live life in love, not fear. At least you weren’t numb; at least you survived and felt something!” He also reflects that “walking through the unassuming crowds of New Hope, dancing and half-singing along to a Bluetooth speaker, made this video hilarious. It freaked people out in the best way. I love that; I love just jumping right into what would seem abnormal.”
Check out the video for yourself and see if you don’t get stuck in Sonnder’s splendor.