It may not be a “Downer,” but it’s not exactly on the optimistic side of things either. We’re referring to the brand new music video for “Yellow” from The Desert Island Big Band, the follow-up video to “Downer,” which we premiered at the end of March.
The video clip complements the song’s dreary tone perfectly, as it follows a young woman through a reflective, melancholic day spent by herself. She seems to have a lot on her mind as she smokes a cigarette while looking out the window, brushes her teeth looking like it’s the last thing she’d like to be doing, and then, suddenly, when she’s quietly reading a book, she literally discovers a whole new world. The video very accurately portrays the unique and lonely times in which were are currently living.
“Yellow” is our latest in-depth look into the mind of Stefan Jurewicz, with The Desert Island Big Band the moniker he releases his music under. Commenting on the song and video, Jurewicz remarks on how “Yellow” wasn’t exactly one of those songs that came to him easy. “Writing ‘Yellow’ was a slow burn. The opening progression kicked around in my head for years before I was able to do anything with it. Rewrites on rewrites made it feel like it wasn’t going anywhere, and the irony is that that sentiment kind of became the theme for how the song ended up. To me, ‘Yellow’ has always represented a release (no, not that kind). That sense of whatever you’re going through finally easing up, though not necessarily being over. Hence why it seems appropriate to release it now, with Ontario slowly opening up post-lockdown.
I worked with Dominic Llanos again on this video, as well as my partner Jess Pepin. We wanted to embrace that sense of isolation as a way of reflecting the times, though leaning into the ‘release’ aspect with a more science fiction approach. We filmed it entirely in our apartment, covering entire rooms in black garbage bags and Styrofoam planets to give it a surreal, almost childlike look. The song was recorded and mixed by myself at Poole House Studios, and mastered by Jason Jaknunas at Metropolitan Studios. I played all the instrumentation myself, with the exception of drums, who were played by Jon Schultz (Onionface), and piano, played by Jeff Watkins (Loretta Sound).”
Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Jurewicz has been working a long time to get to this point. Previous to The Desert Island Big Band, he was a member of a number of Ottawa area groups such as Onionface, All Day Breakfast, and Siberian Breaks. Stylistically, each of these bands is quite different from the others which helped Jurewicz develop his unrestrained approach to The Desert Island Big Band. No genre is favoured over any other and Jurewicz feeds off of his musical instincts to create a very original tone and atmosphere, based off of his talents and his honest approach.
In experiencing the music of The Desert Island Big Band, it becomes quite clear that there’s nothing showy about Jurewicz; he’s “real” in all the ways a musician should be.