ACE HARPER, a unique Los Angeles-based alt-pop artist with an array of cutting-edge influences, has today (September 14) released a new single, “Different Kind of Blue,” via Sonic Pill/Kobalt.
Listen here: https://AWAL.lnk.to/2IXx4.
With razor sharp lyrics like “Why you gotta be so mean/Thought we played on the same team” and “If I come undone would you sew up the seams?” “Different Kind of Blue” is edgy pop with an emotionally charged singer-songwriter sensibility, striking rhythmic vocal flow, and haunting musical atmospherics. The song was written by the singer and songwriter with the team of Jason Bell and Jordan Miller, who also produced the track. They are known as “The Heavy,” with credits including Saint Motel, lovelytheband, Dirty Heads and Andrew McMahon.
“This is the first collaboration with them I’m releasing but I’m looking forward to sharing our upcoming songs as well,” says ACE of “Different Kind of Blue,” recorded in NYC at Arcade Studios. “The Heavy are such great guys to work with. We have so much fun in the process and they make me feel so comfortable–which I think is really important when you are exposing this much of yourself. I walked into the session having all of the lyrics written which is usually my process. Jason is incredible with production and sounds and just knows how to capture an emotion and vibe and Jordan has such a modern sensibility with melody. I really think the syncopation and rhythmic flow bring a very innovative spirit to the song.”
“Different Kind of Blue” resulted from a rough emotional time in ACE‘s life. “I was experiencing anxiety like I never had before,” she reveals. “It had very physical symptoms and almost like I had these emotions impacted deep inside my chest and if I didn’t get them out in one way or another I was going to implode.” She adds: “Writing this was the first step of feeling better. I’m so grateful to say I’m in a much better place today. I hope others can connect with this song and if by me talking about mental health issues it can help in an on going conversation we need to have to hopefully lesson the stigma then I’ve done my job.” ACE‘s trademark strong lyrical stance also fire up her 2017 debut singles “Mouth Wide Open” and “Neon Heart,” both of which charted at specialty radio and were featured on Apple Music’s Hot Tracks.
The emotional duress described in “Different Kind of Blue” is reflected in the song’s newly released video [https://youtu.be/DdpiP1EQ5jE] that ACE–an artist who seamlessly merges music, dance, and visuals together–co-directed. The video has a futuristic sci-fi feel with an array of TV sets showing scrambled images, with scenes ofACE seemingly trapped in another dimension. This ultra-modern “vertical video,” explains ACE, “takes up the entire screen of your phone. I wanted this to be a very fresh and forward-thinking video. In this mobile and Instagram world that we live in I thought it would be interesting to shoot the video vertically.” Important to ACE was not only self directing the video but “working with other compelling women. No one is going to translate my art the way I envision it so I’ve learned to wear many hats and just do it myself. My outside eye, right hand woman and co-director is Tracy Phillipsand my Director of Photography is Sarah Winters. We need more female directors so I was so happy to have my all female dream team representing!”
“I wanted the video to have a minimal yet very emotional feel,” explains ACE. I think the way we utilized the slow-motion captures the floaty atmosphere of the song as well. All the scrambled images on the TV sets represent what I felt was going on inside my head at the time. I was having this out of body experience where I was just watching my insanity happen in my head and couldn’t control it. Also the scenes behind the blue panel symbolize a sort of entrapment by your own thoughts. I wanted the color palette to be all nudes and blues and I was lucky enough that my amazing stylist friend Bea Akerlund (Beyonce, Madonna) let me use pieces from her showroom, The Residency. I love fashion as I see it as art and also another form of expression so I was so happy that came together so seamlessly.”
Says ACE: “I didn’t end up using “choreography” in this video…so all the movement you see is very organic. I have a dance background and worked as a professional dancer before I did music so this was just how my movement manifested itself that day. Some of the artists I have worked with as a dancer are David Lachapelle, Lenny Kravitz, Britney Spears, Pink, and Duran Duran. I do have an incredible choreographer Tracy Phillips, (Rihanna, Madonna, Justin Timberlake) that I collaborate on everything with. She co-directed this video with me. We have very similar aesthetics so I trust her with everything.”
Look for ACE HARPER to soon announce live shows. She made her SXSW debut this past March to packed crowds. “My live show is a very visual experience. I’m influenced by David Bowie, Bob Fosse, and the iconic Parisian show “Crazy Horse.” I have two beautiful dancers who wear futuristic silver wigs and massive artistic imagesare projected onto my Thin White Duke suit and their bodies.”