Van Bellman is the creation of Brooklyn based musician Zac Taylor who has spent years carefully refining his eclectic mix of blues-rock and indie pop. “I Hate to See You This Way” is the frayed and disheveled first single that fits Taylor like a tattered old suit.
Built on distorted, twitchy blues guitar, and a stomping bass line “I Hate to See You This Way” sees Van Bellman as an impotent bystander as a loved one gets lost in one of life’s dark alleyways. The heartwrenching hopelessness of the lyrics is offset by a deceptively simple, scuzzy blues-rock riff that cuts through the song like a hot knife through butter. However, rather than just being a retro blues workout, Van Bellman smooths out the roughest edges and gives the song a contemporary pop polish with a chorus that digs in and holds on.
The video steers away from the emotionally weighty subject matter, instead focusing on the fun, bluesy rock vibe of the production. The result is a tongue in cheek, rock ‘n’ roll zombie tale about a gothic love triangle, as Van Bellman explains. “The widower hates to see his wife dead, the mistress hates to see this man in grief, and of course, the undead bride hates to see her husband rolling around in the sheets with another woman.”