See more SeepeopleS

SeepeopleS is growing on me (despite the errant capital S at the end of their name). I recently caught the group in a special “for the fans” concert at Echo Mountain Recording Studio on Bele Chere weekend. Front man Will Bradford is an unlikely pop star, and yet his stage presence, tidy falsetto, quirky-meaningful songs and infectious hooks all add up to some sort of musical sub-genius.

But what’s really selling me on this group (that, inexplicably, seems to be all too often lumped in with jam and festival bands) is their video prowess. You Tube boasts plenty of live SeepeopleS footage (live at Ziggy’s, live at Emerald Lounge, live in their tour van, sticking a banana to the ceiling …) but check out their latest, a studio-made video for the single “Don’t Panic”.

Apocalyptical themes aside, there’s something satisfyingly arty and fun about Bradford’s thick glasses and unshaven mug floating against a backdrop of newsreel footage and sci-fi film clips. He sings earnestly. He strums his guitar. He looks like a younger, shabbier Elvis Costello.

Personally, I don’t like the video for “Don’t Panic” as much as the earlier-released “Apocalypse Cow” video. I love the stripped down stage, the dark suits and wide ties worn with bizarre hats, the jangly verses juxtaposed with the fuzzy, resonant chorus. I like that the band seems to be having fun, panning for the camera, striking rocker poses with cardboard instruments. I like that Bradford, the unassuming pop star, asks the non-audience at the beginning of the video if they have any requests. It’s a self-depreciating move that, even if only meant in jest, makes him instantly and irrefutably likable.

—Alli Marshall, A&E editor

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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