Kellen of Troy offers a look inside his creative process in the new video for his “Some Tune We All Already Know,” directed by Rachel Lichtman and premiering exclusively below.
The clip depicts the multi-faceted pop artist (real name Kellen Wenrich) in full-blown composing mode — writing, recording, conducting a masked string section, even getting frustrated and throwing his score sheets in the air at one point. “It’s pretty accurate, just sort of the manic-ness of it all,” Wenrich — who’s worked with Mumford and Sons, Jenny Lewis, G. Love, the Wild Flowers and others in addition to releasing three of his own albums — tells Billboard. “I played the majority of the music on (the new Vanity Project), so (the video) is trying to go for a fictionalized, tongue-in-cheek take on all the different roles and hats that go into making a Kellen of Troy record.
“I think all that process is why I do it,” he adds. “I really love all the behind the scenes, putting in the work. All of that is why I pursue it as a songwriter. It’s all the other aspects of it, the Instagram posts and the center stage-ness, that come less natural to me.”
Wenrich recorded Vanity Project at several Nashville studios, co-producing with Ryan McFadden and Adam Taylor. The set came out March 13, “When everything started shutting down,” Wenrich notes. But he’s maintaining as positive of an attitude as he can. “You can’t be disappointed by it, right? How vain is that?” he says. “You can’t go shaking your fist at the world because of this huge, global thing going on. You almost have to laugh it off. Everybody’s distracted, and rightfully so. So I don’t think you can get too angry about it. It is what it is. Maybe there’ll be, like, a little asterisk on all these releases during this period.”
Nevertheless, it’s intriguing that within Vanity Project‘s lush, often anthemic soundscapes contain almost prescient political messages about the times, such as Wenrich’s criticism of online culture in “Heaven Online.” And other tracks, such as “PessiMystics,” “I’ll Be Ready For Tomorrow Once I Get Through Yesterday” and “Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead,” “take on a whole new meaning in a global pandemic that you can’t anticipate going into the (album).”
“The whole thing’s taken on these new sensitivities for the time in which we’re living,” Wenrich notes. “It’s overtly political, obviously, but for as much as I wanted to talk about politics and the (presidential) campaign and everything, it’s been overshadowed. It’s still a huge issue, and we need strong leadership now more than ever — which we don’t really have — but the immediacy of dealing with the pandemic eclipses that right now, I think.”