Exclusive Video Premiere: ‘Guesthouse,’ David Wax Museum

Published December 7, 2015

ABOVE: DAVID WAX MUSEUM. PHOTO COURTESY OF CLAIRE ROETH.

At first glance, the music video for Charlottesville, Virginia-based duo David Wax Museum’s “Guesthouse” has a certain Wes Anderson charm. The typeface title card, combined with the sharp pastel-heavy tracking shots and visually distinctive individual rooms, are enhanced by soulful folk-indie rock melodies. But underneath the aesthetics lies a funny tale, perhaps one that is all too familiar with musicians everywhere: The search for a place to stay while touring, including encounters with crazed homeowners and characters in the process. We’re pleased to premiere the duo’s video, which can be viewed below.

“I’ve always been drawn to creating exuberant, joyful music while writing lyrics that often contrast with the sunny vibe of the song,” David Wax explains, noting that he prefers to approach each individual verse as a vignette. “I love that juxtaposition and am excited by singing something that on paper may look dreary but takes on another life when put together with a buoyant melody, colorful production, and pulsing rhythm.”

For “Guesthouse,” the titular song of the pair’s latest album, that meant elevating the touring lifestyle narrative into something more relatable to listeners. “There are threads in the song that deal with the problems of gated communities, struggling with one’s life path, and constantly coming up against the disparity in income in American life,” Wax continues. “But, at the same time, the music and some of the lyrics are playful. It’s important to not take yourself too seriously when singing about looking for a place to crash.”  The video’s director Ross McDermott quickly echoes Wax’s sentiment: “I envisioned a video that had a quick pace right from the start and did not let up until the very end,” he says. “The concept [was] aimed at portraying this idea of a character constantly running from guesthouse to guesthouse, but also larger themes like housing developments, American wealth, and the leisure class.”  

FOR MORE ON DAVID WAX MUSEUM, VISIT THE DUO’S FACEBOOK.