There’s really no way to quietly listen to Sydney Wayser’s “Potions.” Your first instinct is to crank it up — followed quickly by the desire for a beer, rooftop and sunset:
It’s easy to get lost in all the layered percussion, as well as the swoony melody and sultry jazz attitude. And yet the more you listen to the song, the more one appreciates the meticulousness of its creation. Yes, there’s a strict set of ingredients here, but there’s also a bit of mayhem playing out, as the elements interweave with one another.
It’s as if a summer tune designed to please has joined up with a jam ensemble determined to color outside the lines. That’s why I particularly enjoy this new music video, directed by Victor Reyes and offered exclusively to TIME.
Balanced between an idyllic forest stroll at sunset and an underground concert, the “Potions” video is overflowing with the personality of Sydney Wayser — a vivacious new talent who has been hitting one home run after another this year. There was the spotlight on Last Call with Carson Daly, pegged to Wayser’s marathon of appearances at South By Southwest (see the full segment at the bottom of this post). There was the March release of her new record Bell Choir Coast, which Wayser describes as a catchy concept album of sorts, involving a fictional universe and the manipulated soundscapes to match. “When writing ‘Potions,’ I was consumed with the idea of vices so I wrote the song from the perspective of a drug dealer or prostitute,” Wayser tells TIME. “I was fascinated with the idea of covering up an internal issue with temporary fulfillment and happiness. We often prevent ourselves from working on whatever bothers us, yet still pretend for a brief time that it is gone. For me, the song is about provider actually having the same conflicting feelings. With each moment of temporary relief they give away, they are filled more and more with their own pain.”
Wayser’s national tour kicks off May 17 (see the full calendar on her website), including an array of appearances with Blitzen Trapper between May 29 and June 9. Just a couple weeks ago, she also released the video to her darker and dreamier new track “Dirty Work”:
For me, though, it’s all about “Potions” — the breezy, bright, care-free rock anthem that I have a feeling will become a recurring accompaniment to all my summer escapes. What do you think?