The forlorn twang of a desolate guitar drifts above a lethargic, sunbaked beat. Angie Bruyere gently breathes her dusty vocals into the music and the result is intoxicating. “The Gift” , from Angie and The Deserters’ Blood Like Wine EP, is a mesmerizing track that simmers with the waning heat of a once blazing romance. Angie’s smoky tone resonates with honesty, passion, pain, and something else. Something that is swirling just below the surface. It’s up to the listener to decide exactly what that deeper layer contains as the artist purposely leaves her exquisite vocal nuances open for interpretation.
In the video, the lonely and oppressive environment seems to mirror the emotional state of the distraught singer. As she wanders about, lost in her memories and wrestling with how they still affect her, the viewer is pulled deeper and deeper into the singer’s thoughts. It is a beautiful example of how impactful music and video can be in the hands of a true artist.
Recently, Angie agreed to answer a number of questions about creating the video. She was also kind enough to reveal a glimpse of the intriguing person behind the songs.
Entertaining Options: What made it important to put this video out? Does it have a great deal of personal significance to you?
Angie Bruyere: Funny enough, this is actually the 3rd attempt at making a video for this song. It was important to me to get it right… to do something simple enough to not take away from the lyrics and melody. I actually wrote this song years ago and decided to rerecord it for Blood Like Wine because it’s that special to me, for reasons that some may never know.
EO: This video features some incredible shots. Where was it filmed?
Angie: The location of the video is Topanga, California, where we live. It’s shot partially on the canyon trails around my home, partially in our bar, and then lastly in the ocean at Big Rock at the bottom of our road.
EO: How important is it that the landscape mirrors the soundscape?
Angie: I derive so much of my inspiration for my songwriting in nature, and therefore I think it’s important to reflect that in the visuals that we choose. Of course there have been songs that I’ve written in dark and divey bars, as well, and it would seem only fitting to film them accordingly. I like to tell the whole story, I suppose.
EO: Your performance in this video is utterly absorbing. The complexity of the emotions you reveal gives the story such a fascinating depth. Are you a trained actress or is this real emotions that we’re seeing?
Angie: First of all, thank you! It’s all real. I was just really feeling the song. I’m actually a horrible actress. As I found out the hard way in my younger years. It’s just pure emotion.
EO: The dress in the video is very similar to the one you’re wearing on the Blood Like Wine EP cover. Is that just the kind of clothing you have in your wardrobe or was it something special for the video?
Angie: We actually did a photo shoot in that dress a week before and had yet to come up with any concept for the video, though it was scheduled to shoot in a week. As I came out of the ocean, dress torn and dripping of salt and seaweed, I knew that I’d be wearing it again!
EO: How important is it that your fashion reflects the sound?
Angie: I don’t really think about fashion that much, to be honest with you. I’ve been pretty much dressing the way that I dress for as long as I can remember, and therefore I assume that it reflects my sound because it’s all me. Don’t get me wrong, I have so much respect for fashionable people, and definitely admire a put together look, it’s just that it’s not me. My head is too full of other stuff, I suppose. [At the time of this interview, Angie had a video shoot the following day and she admitted that she hadn’t even thought about what she was going to wear yet.]
EO: Is there an item of clothing that is essential to your wardrobe?
Angie: My most important staple clothing would have to be my denim collection. I can’t imagine life without my beloved Levis. I’m definitely a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. I also ride a motorcycle, and it’s not as fun in a skirt!
EO: What is your worst habit?
Angie: It used to be smoking cigarettes, but I thankfully finally kicked it last year, and couldn’t be happier. My daughter would say that it’s not knowing how to say “no” to people. But is that really a bad habit? I guess not.
EO: How about your best personality trait?
Angie: Hmmmm, that’s a tough one to answer for myself. I guess I’d like to think that I’m generally a kind person? Also, that I don’t do selfies… ha. I really don’t like that stuff. Such strange times we live in with our social media habits and definitions of beauty, but now I’m getting off subject. Did I mention that I have ADD?
EO: Where does your confidence come from?
Angie: I think my confidence has come with experience, life and professional, and time. There’s as much to be learned playing to 1000 people as there is playing to 10 people. I take no show for granted, and never are any 2 shows alike. Also, there’s no confidence like that of having the most talented of musicians behind you.
EO: In a seasoned artist, you can hear that person’s life etched into their voice. There’s a simmering heat in your vocals. You are intensely passionate and have a wild edge that doesn’t define you, but also doesn’t frighten you. You can embrace it when the time is right. Does any of that ring true to who you are?
Angie: I think you may have hit the proverbial nail on the head with this one. I have lived a very colorful, passionate and, at times, dangerous life. I strongly dislike rules and restrictions, yet I have respect for people and boundaries and most importantly for love. I live for truth and desire and excitement. I don’t always think before I speak, look before I leap, and all of those other clichés, but I live life to the fullest and am fiercely loyal to those that deserve my loyalty. I can only hope that this comes through in my vocals as all I could ever hope for is for people to believe me. I want to sing what is real and what I feel. Nothing polished and auto tuned has ever turned me on…
EO: When did you first realize you were good enough to do this?
Angie: I think that anyone who’s got something to say, feels the music in their bones, and has a thick enough skin for this business that we call music is “good enough” to do this.
EO: What makes your music uniquely you?
Angie: I don’t know what makes me uniquely me other than they’re my thoughts and feelings and experiences and words that I’m singing about.
EO: In closing, do you have any humorous anecdotes or fond memories regarding the filming of this video?
Angie: It makes me laugh to watch the end scene when I’m walking into the ocean because of course that day the undertow was incredibly strong and the waves were brutal. I took it in the face pretty hard straight on but knew that we only had one chance at the shot and had to go for it. I was so scared!! Ahh, the things that we do for art.
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Related: “Heartfelt Silk And Gravel Vocals Define Angie And The Deserters’ ‘You’”