San Francisco indie outfit Be Calm Honcho is captivating the hearts of listeners with the chilled-out, hip-swaying pop tunes of their debut LP, Honcho Dreams, which officially dropped on Crossbill Records just last month. With the music video for the record’s stand-out track, “I Love California”, the band manages to encapsulate their serene and slinky energy while also capturing an imitable California vibe, though not in the obvious sun-drenched way often associated with our home state.
Though the video does show off some familiar scenes — unmarked bodies of water, mountainous cactus sculptures, reservoirs and tree groves just off the freeway, the power lines that act as bloodlines between the San Francisco and Los Angeles — the focus is largely on the people in it. Skating down highways, biking across bridges, lounging on rafts and rocks and dancing as their clothes flow in the wind, this gang of misfits revels in the natural and mad-made landscapes of California. Shannon Harney’s vocals lure you into their story, and by the time she begins the first spoken word interlude, a startling and powerful interjection into the otherwise unhurried number, you’re right there with them, waste deep in water, captivated by the warm, familiar media display. Or at least you wish you were. In one of the more memorable shots, six badass babes in muted pastel dresses walk out of the water and sing, “I love California like you do,” as they stare directly into the camera. The entire scene is demure, perhaps deceivingly so, yet also stunning and definitely a little silly too.
Watch the video below, and if you can dig Be Calm Honcho’s vision of California, come see them play at Brick & Mortar on August 5 for Wood Shoppe’s free monthly show series.