Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hump Day Hot Ticket: Von Smith “You Don't Exist”

Von Smith

As much as this blog is dedicated to rock and metal music, once in a while I do like to explore other sounds as well. My musical tastes aren't just limited to what you read about here; from classical to R&B, I enjoy a wide range of music that, for the most part, never gets written about on this blog. However, every now and then, the occasional bright shining star from these other genres will demand that their overwhelming talent makes its presence known.

One of these is a singer I have written about before: Von Smith, a vocalist so phenomenally gifted that when I listen to him, I am completely lost in his symphonic pop world of grandiosity, wide-eyed optimism, and exuberant cheer (just listen to songs like “Carnival of Life” or “Nothing Like This”, if you need some examples). I could never completely abandon the metal, but I can run off with Von's music for a weekend rendezvous, figuratively speaking! He has a voice that captures you, and at least for me, I can listen for hours and still remain totally enraptured.

Even his songs of heartbreak have an uplifting, “I won't be beaten” sort of quality to them; anthems of empowerment that refuse to wallow in self-pity, and instead march on to bigger and better things, such as his song “You Don't Exist”, the video I'll be reviewing. The perfect post-breakup song, “You Don't Exist” puts it all out on the table and is unapologetic in its determination to beat that sadness back into its dark corner.

The video itself is a fun, playful theme: It starts out with a simple shot of Von, dressed in black on a black background, wearing his headphones and singing into a microphone. Then there is another shot on the top right-hand corner of the screen: a hand playing piano. Another image appears beneath that one: a man playing guitar. Soon the camera goes to a full shot of the band playing, while the shots of Von and the piano are each in an upper corner. Eventually some horns and a cello show up...wait a minute, there's something different about this's all the same person! (Turns out the one-man band is Von's producer.) Whoever is playing the instruments, they are positively rockin' on this tune, as Von is hitting high notes left and right, and I find myself headbanging to this track, always a metalhead at heart.

For more information on Von Smith, visit his official website.

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