Exclusive Video Premiere: ‘Matchstick,’ American Royalty

Published January 23, 2012

 

LA band American Royalty nearly uses up our typical hyphenate allowance—their sound has been described as “psychedelic blues-rock and an unexpected cross between The Black Keys and Boys Noize.” Fronted by the power vocal leads and airy harmonies of frontmen Billy Scher and Marc Gilfry, American Royalty songs weave guitars, drums, and singers through samplers and synths to lend an electronic overhaul to their classic rock charm.

American Royalty enlisted Brooklyn painter and filmmaker Jeff Scher for the video for “Matchstick,” which we’re psyched to premiere today. Scher succeeds in elevating the artistic value of crayon and watercolors, and images evoke the spectrum from Pollack to play-yard. Organized grids and uniform brush strokes are interrupted by saturated blotches and threads of color that fold and bleed into one another, with colors and shapes reconfigured into different representations throughout. Occasionally, full articulated images of people and things assist our imagination in constructing a narrative for the piece. Several images recur, like a flipbook torn apart and cleverly rebound to evoke whimsy and fantasy in the viewer.
 
In keeping with the band’s genre-bending ethos, psychedelic images are paired with bluesy-sounding interludes, and the 1950s intro shows down with the 1970s aesthetic until an unequivocally modern chorus confirms the timelessness of American Royalty’s sound. Matchstick, the forthcoming EP, was written in the summer of 2011 and recorded on largely vintage equipment, lending its sound both synthetic and analogue qualities.