Vancouver-based singer-songwriter and screenwriter Pennan Brae premieres the music video for “Strut 1980s,” a song from his most recent album The Astronot: Gravity, featuring the talents of drummer Steve Ferrone, who has played with Tom Petty, Duran Duran, and Eric Clapton, and bassist Garry Gary Beers of INXS.
According to Brae, “Working with Steve and Garry is such an honor. These are my musical heroes, it still hasn’t fully sunk in that I had the chance to record with them.”
Replete with the heady, distinctive, and tantalizing sound of the ’80s, the album, like a musical Doctor Who, travels back in time yet remains unmistakably contemporary, which is what makes it so wonderful.
Gravity includes five mixes by producers Kirk Kelsey and Eric Alexandrakis. Mastered by Grammy winner Sean Magee at Abbey Road, the album represented Brae’s first time recording with violin, cello, mandolin, pedal steel guitar, and banjo.
Over the last two years, Brae has produced two feature films, The Astronot (2018), and 2 Below (2019), which have garnered acclaim at more than 160 film festivals. Brae not only composed the soundtracks for the films, but developed the scripts and acted in the films, under the direction of Tim Cash, who also directed the music video for “Strut 1980s.”
Opening on a crunching beat topped by a fat rolling bassline, “Strut 1980s” resonates with gleaming layers of synth colors, glowing vocal harmonies, droning tones, and swooshing sonic textures. Brae’s suave evocative voice, reminiscent of Robert Palmer crossed with Rick Springfield, infuses the lyrics with cool, nonchalant smoldering sensuality, akin to a sonic version of Steve McQueen.
The video opens with a figure hitting golf balls in the middle of a desert. He’s dressed in a kitschy flamboyant outfit decorated with pink Flamingos. From that point on, the visuals add a parade of eccentric characters suffused in pink auras, along with giant pink inflatable Flamingos, pink-clad ninjas, and the wildest ghillie suit ever.
“Strut 1980s” is superb, on two levels: musically and visually. The music pulses and surges with the tantalizing flavors of the ’80s, while the images inject an elusive familiarity to anyone around during the decade of big hair, glam, and impeccably polished rock and roll.