To new listeners, Nellen Dryden may seem like a throwback to the vinyl era, which is evident in her groovy visuals as well as her musical style. Though she spent some formative year in New York City, she recorded her upcoming album, Standstill, in East Nashville using an RCA analog console from the 1950s, with the studio band performing live. The cool result melds a cosmic country sound with her R&B, jazz, soul, blues, and rock influences.
Take a look at her new video, “Tullahoma,” then read our interview with Nellen Dryden below the player.
What do you remember most about the shoot for this video?
For all the scenes outdoors, I remember it being really hot. Upper 90s. Even after living in the south for a few years, it still wipes me out! We kept jumping in and out of my car blasting the A/C to cool off and hydrate between takes, which helped a lot. But by the end of the day I was feeling it and after shooting a scene by a river barefoot, I stepped on a bee and got stung. That’s when we decided to call it for the day.
How does the video bring your song to life?
I think the setting and weather, although hot, was perfect for the song. My director found these amazing wildflowers growing out of the concrete in a little town outside of Nashville and we knew we had to figure out a way to get them into the video. The song itself is about wanting to escape, head somewhere else and experience something outside of one’s daily routine and I think this video captures the fun we had that day outside and inside the studio; jamming out to the song, dancing with my band and then discovering new beautiful, surprising places to explore in a small town.
What message do you hope your fans take away from the video?
My hope is that it brings some energy and fun, and helps people see that you don’t have to go far to discover and experience something new. Especially now during this pandemic, I think folks are connecting with nature and finding that they can do a lot safely and from a distance close to where they live, which hopefully helps with the feelings of being stuck that we all feel now, and in life in general.
How did it feel to see the finished product for the first time?
It made me feel excited! There’s so much energy and movement in the video, from the way Josh took and edited the shots, and all the dancing he captured. I felt like we created something that really pairs perfectly with the upbeat feel of the song.
Songwriter: Nellen Dryden; Director: Josh Kranich