Our Band’s ‘Priscilla’ Mixes Elvis Presley References With … Puppets? [Exclusive Premiere]
Justin Poindexter owns this radio: a 1948 Zenith that "glows orange and smells dangerous when it's on." He purchased it for $12 from a flea market, operating out of an old grocery store, in his home state of North Carolina.
"My dad has a booth there," the artist explains, "and I like to go rummage around when we're visiting my folks."
Combined with the perfect sort of moment in a peaceful place, the antique offered Poindexter a bit of magic, to create "Priscilla," the latest release from Our Band, his duo with wife Sasha Papernik. The song and its accompanying music video are premiering exclusively on The Boot; press play below to watch.
"I dragged [the radio] up to a cabin we rented upstate, and I was outside at dusk, cleaning the grill, when the original "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley came on the radio. Lightning bugs were dancing all around, and for a few transcendent moments, I felt like I was living inside the song," Poindexter recalls. "It was a totally visceral experience -- that song has a kind of mythological power to it."
Nodding to that spark of inspiration, "Priscilla" offers several references to Presley. Mentions of bouffants and "loud" clothes, blue suede shoes and "listen[ing] to Elvis on the radio" dot the lyrics, which are a love letter to a woman named Priscilla -- also the name of Presley's wife -- whom the protagonist is missing terribly.
The music video for the accordion-laden song finds Poindexter, Papernik and other human beings interacting with a set of puppets -- designed by Poindexter's sister! -- one of whom is looking to right a wrong in the office. Goofy? Absolutely, but its bold colors and puppet antics are a perfect match for the upbeat melody.
"Priscilla" is the first of 13 songs on Bright as You, Our Band's debut album. Poindexter -- the son of a country singer and a teacher -- and Papernik, a classically trained pianist and first-generation Russian-American, met in New York City. As educators with a focus on the arts, they've designed arts curriculums for Lincoln Center, the Juilliard School and the Center for Arts Education. They've performed at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall, too, through that work, but Bright as You will be their first project as a duo.
"Priscilla" is out widely on Friday (May 21), while Bright as You is due out on June 25. Visit OurBand.org to learn more.