April 6, 2015


Phoebe Ryan's "Dead" Vid Shows Major Promise for Rising Indie-Pop Star

At the end of March, we picked Phoebe Ryan's "Dead" as one of the best pop songs of the month for its complex concept and lush production. The single's accompanying video further enforces the prediction that the young singer-songwriter is one to watch in 2015.

With what's obviously a minimal budget, Ryan makes great use of light- and color-centric camera tricks to pull off a dreamy visual to match the dreamy track. While having shirtless dancers prance around you in a smoky room would look kind of ridiculous to an on-set observer, Ryan uses green smoke, has her dancers filmed with stop-motion animation and utilizes background lights and shadows to give off a surreal visual experience. Even when she employs the (typically played-out) kaleidoscope effect, the fact that she darkens her face and uses a neon-pink background takes it beyond typical music video effects.

Another awesome part: The indie-pop star somehow gets a cockatoo to sit pretty on her finger for an entire scene. We're kind of curious how she got it to stay on her hand even when it's trying to flap away free, but it's an incredible visual nonetheless. We ain't callin' PETA.

It's all very promising for the recent NYU grad who probably has very little to work with at this point. She's written for a few up-and-comers like Bea Miller, Say Lou Lou and Oh Honey, but hasn't had any type of songwriting breakout yet a la Lady Gaga (writing for Britney SpearsThe Pussycat Dolls and more, ahead of her debut) or Jessie J (writing Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A.").

But with one of the most honest songwriting styles we've heard in a hot minute ("Life is so good / And I don't deserve it," she admits on the "Dead" bridge), we're hoping that Ryan gets the recognition she deserves and has the means to continue making more impressive music and visuals.