Michael Malarkey is One Sad Pup in New 'Mongrels' Video: Exclusive

Chelsea Lauren
Michael Malarkey

Where do you go when your woodland getaway isn’t much of an escape from the past? That is the dilemma at the center of singer-songwriter Michael Malarkey's newest video for "Mongrels," the title track to his upcoming album, available Sept. 8 via Cap on Cat Records.

"'Mongrels' is a state of mind or being, a feeling of belonging to nothing but feeling and seeing everything everywhere, a rootless wanderer finding beauty in an ever-changing dream," Malarkey tells Billboard. "We all have a mongrel in us. How we choose to express it and live it is the difference between us all."

The ideas behind the song are aptly translated into visual form with a reclusive Malarkey sauntering about a cabin with the occasional flash of brighter days. Malarkey is perhaps best known for his role as heel-turned-hero Enzo on The Vampire Diaries and his experience as a brooding lead is utilized perfectly in the video. He emotes the forlorn feelings from the lyrics with a deeper grasp that isn't overwrought or contrived, and the heaviness in his movements only adds to the deep croon of his baritone voice.

The Atlanta-based artist is remarkable to watch, but his talents as a songwriter and musician are the real focus here. The video finds him attempting to write his way out of a rut, with Malarkey poring over his notes and repeatedly adding to his growing collection of ripped notebook pages.

"Mongrels" is the ideal showcase for his vocals with its folk roots and country-styled slide guitar that gives the minimalist, melancholic production an authentic deep-cut vibe. With an album that he promises will have a bit of everything, it's a welcome decision to start with an intimate track that lets Malarkey display his bare-bones abilities.

Check out the full video for "Mongrels" below and his upcoming tour date after the jump.

EU Tour Dates:
Oct. 23 -- Cardiff @ Clwb Ifor Bach
Oct. 24 -- Norwich @ Epic Studios
Oct. 25 -- Manchester @ Star & Garter
Oct. 26 -- Liverpool @ Studio 2
Oct. 27 -- Leeds @ Brudenell Social Club
Oct. 28 -- London @ Thousand Island
Oct. 29 -- London @ Thousand Island
Nov. 24 -- Barcelona @ Sala Bikini
Nov. 26 -- Warsaw @ BARdzo Bardzo
Nov. 27 -- Prague @ NoD
Nov. 28 -- Berlin @ Privatclub
Nov. 29 -- Cologne @ Studio 672
Nov. 30 -- Amsterdam @ Melkweg
Dec. 1 -- Hasselt @ Cafe Cafe
Dec. 2 -- Paris @ Point Éphémére